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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

Indiana comes back from 1 goal down to beat Illinois on Sunday

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Coming off a victory against Iowa on Thursday night, Indiana women’s soccer returned Sunday afternoon for a matinee matchup against Illinois and won 2-1. 

Indiana was playing catchup after the first whistle blew. The Illinois defense refused to grant any room for Indiana to operate and the Hoosiers were unable to put a shot on net in the game’s first few minutes. 

The ball hadn’t left Illinois’ half of the field when junior defender Kendra Pasquale struck one past Indiana freshman goaltender Jamie Gerstenberg to put her team up 1-0 in the eighth minute. 

After the initial goal, Indiana did not change their style of play and Illinois held Indiana shotless for the next 26 minutes. The team finished the first half down a goal with only two shots to show. 

“We didn’t have it right at the start of the second half,” head coach Erwin van Bennekom said in a postgame press conference. “The way we were set up we couldn’t get pressure on the ball, and we couldn’t keep the ball.”

Indiana began the second half playing with the same passion that has propelled the side into offensive explosions against Kansas State University, Murray State University and Southeast Missouri State University. 

But despite taking control of possession, the Hoosiers were still trailing the Illini by one after the 62nd minute. 

In dire need of a goal, sophomore forward Anna Bennett found some space and fed a ball up to sophomore midfielder Paige Webber who scored the equalizer. It was Webber’s fifth goal of the season. 

With the goal, Webber took over as the leading scorer on the Hoosiers this season. 

The Hoosiers had 27 minutes left to add two more points next to their name in the Big Ten conference standings. 

But Indiana didn’t need the whole 27 minutes. Graduate student forward Melanie Forbes took advantage of a misstep by Illinois freshman goaltender Naomi Jackson in the 78th minute to land her first goal of the season and put her side up 2-1. 

 Regardless of the result on the field any given day, van Bennekom said his team’s adaptability is important to its victories. 

“I give massive credit to their ability to change on the fly,” van Bennekom said. “We played three systems today, I don’t think that there is any team in the country that is more flexible than this team.” 

Forbes was ecstatic with the victory and spoke highly of her team’s resolve.

“All of this speaks to the grit and hard work of this team,” Forbes said. “We never give up and deep down we know we have it in us. We took our chances as they came and made the most of it.”

Indiana will travel to face Ohio State at 7 p.m. Thursday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. 

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