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Sunday, May 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

IU women’s soccer falls to Memphis in Sunday matchup

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Coming off the heels of a 1-0 victory against the University of Tennessee Thursday, IU women’s soccer returned to action Sunday afternoon with a non-conference matchup against the University of Memphis Tigers in Memphis, Tennessee. The Hoosiers fell 1-0.

IU entered the contest coming off a three-game set without conceding a goal, following 1-0 wins against UT Martin and Valparaiso University, as well as a 0-0 tie against the University of Notre Dame.  

IU head coach Erwin van Bennekom’s starting XI looked largely similar to the lineups seen earlier this season, with the exception of new addition sophomore forward Gabi Rennie. 

Rennie has seen limited action so far in the 2021 season, but saw significant action with the New Zealand national football team during the Olympics this past summer in Tokyo, where she scored a goal in group play against Australia. 

IU was largely outplayed and outperformed by its opponents at the beginning of the game. Throughout its first three games of the regular season, Memphis scored 13 goals, including an eight-goal showing in a win against the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Aug. 26. 

Despite Memphis’ previous scoring-heavy showing and possession domination early against IU, both sides remained tied scoreless and shotless at the 25 minute water break. 

The scoreless tie was nearly broken at the 26 minute mark with a setup by sophomore forward Jen Blitchok to freshman midfielder Kelly Monaco, only to be stopped by Memphis goaltender Elizabeth Moberg. 

After a yellow card by Tiger defender Grace Stordy just after the 30th minute, the first half drew to a close with the Hoosiers and the Tigers tied at zero, and the Hoosiers’ streak of no goals conceded extended to 315 minutes of play. 

IU opened its second half against Memphis a lot like they did in the first, but this time the team would have to pay for it. At the 49 minute mark, Memphis freshman forward Aubrey Mister headed a ball past freshman goaltender Jamie Gerstenberg, and suddenly  the scoreless streak was no more. 

After letting up the 49’ goal, IU was still trying to play catchup against a Memphis team that was significantly outplaying them. As the clock ticked on past the 50 and then the 60 minute marks, both teams were starting to play more aggressively until IU freshman defender Camille Hamm and Memphis sophomore midfielder Lara Kazandjian were both issued yellow cards in the 68th minute. 

Although the game got heated, this pace of play was not translating into any scoring chances for IU as the match approached the final minutes of play. After another Memphis scoring chance in the 86th minute, the final whistle blew and IU’s undefeated season was no more. 

Although disappointed with the result, van Bennekom was pleased with his side’s defensive showing, which included holding Memphis to its lowest number of goals this season. He was blunt in his postgame remarks.

“Statistics like that sound nice, but it wasn’t good enough because they scored one more than us,” van Bennekom said.

Van Bennekom was also mindful of his team’s offensive shortcomings so far this season. 

“I always say we have to create five good chances to score a goal, and we just didn’t have five chances today,” van Bennekom said.

IU returns to action against Western Michigan University at 7 p.m. Thursday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

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