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Friday, April 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

IU women’s soccer’s defense shuts out Notre Dame in draw

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After 90 minutes and two overtime periods on a sunny afternoon in South Bend, Indiana, IU women’s soccer left Alumni Stadium with a point after holding onto a 0-0 draw against the University of Notre Dame.

The result means IU has opened the season with a 1-0-1 record, posting shutouts in both of its opening two matches. It is IU’s first point in program history against Notre Dame, after losing in all 11 previous meetings.

Freshmen Jordyn Levy and Camille Hamm, the two players who linked up for the winning goal against Valparaiso, made their first starts of the season for IU.Big Ten Player to Watch honoree freshman Jamie Gerstenberg made another start in net for the Hoosiers.

Following the 1-0 victory over Valparaiso University in its home opener on Thursday, IU looked to build off the performance with a win on the road, but it was never going to be easy.

IU struggled to keep possession of the ball and found most of its opportunities through the counter-attack, except for a scoring chance created by sophomore forward Anna Bennett in the opening minutes. The final shot total ended with Notre Dame holding a 13-5 advantage. 

In Sunday’s match, head coach Erwin van Bennekom opted to stick to a similar 3-4-3 formation that helped IU keep the ball for long stretches in the opener, but Notre Dame brought the pressure to them.

“They started rotating more in the second half and forced us into a 5-4-1,” van Bennekom said. “We can be the 3-4-3 team we want to be if we can manage our progression with passing the ball, but today it got a little sloppy.”

In their two exhibition matches, the Fighting Irish posted 3-2 and 4-0 victories against Big Ten sides Ohio State and Illinois, respectively. They also added three goals in a victory against Bowling Green State University to open the season.

“We were very aware of their offensive production going into the match, and I thought we made the right adjustments,” van Bennekom said.

Although the offense couldn’t click, the most important performances came on the defensive side of the ball for the Hoosiers.

Notre Dame had several goal-scoring chances in the game, but IU’s back line held strong and made clearances when it needed to.

“You always want to see a game early in the season where you can just grind a result out,” van Bennekom said. “This group should be proud of themselves.”

Van Bennekom praised the play of not only the defense, but also Gerstenberg, who made three crucial saves to preserve the point on the road.

“To come in here as a freshman with this performance and make some huge saves, I’m just really proud of her,” van Bennekom said.

IU’s next match will be at 7:00 p.m. Thursday in Bloomington against the University of Tennessee at Martin. The Skyhawks are coming off a 2-0 victory in their home opener against the University of Memphis and a scoreless draw on the road against Western Kentucky University.

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