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Sunday, May 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

Indiana women’s soccer looks to stay perfect at home, battles Murray State Thursday

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Labor Day weekend was a successful one for Indiana women’s soccer, during which the Hoosiers came from behind to defeat Western Michigan University 2-1 and dismantled Southeast Missouri State University 6-0. 

Indiana will look to go three-for-three when it wraps up its current homestand against the Murray State University Racers at 7 p.m Thursday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

The Hoosiers have earned the win in all four of their home matches, shutting out their opponents in three of the four. Indiana’s only dropped points have come on the road in a scoreless draw against the University of Notre Dame and 1-0 defeat against the University of Memphis.

Indiana freshman forward Jordyn Levy earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors Tuesday for scoring a goal in each of the Hoosiers’ last two matches, including the game-winning goal against Western Michigan. Levy leads the Hoosiers in goals this season with three, including  two game-winning goals.

Indiana head coach Erwin van Bennekom said he’s not surprised with Levy’s consistent production to begin her career at Indiana.

“That’s why we brought her here,” van Bennekom said. “She is going to score and hopefully she’ll continue to later in the Big Ten games.”

Following a 9-2 spring season, Murray State has been just as impressive to start the fall, entering Thursday’s match with a record of 4-1-0. 

The Racers are on a five-match road trip with two straight victories against Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University 1-0 and 2-1, respectively. Murray State’s only stumble came against No. 23 ranked Xavier University in a 2-1 defeat in the first match of their road trip.

In Sunday’s senior night blowout victory over Southeast Missouri State, Indiana’s regular starters were substituted and rested early once the Hoosiers took a large lead. As a result, van Bennekom said the team had much more time to prepare over the week and trained longer ahead of the final match of the home stand.

In the only meeting between the Hoosiers and Racers back in the 2019 season, an 81st minute Murray State goal decided the match 2-1 in Kentucky. 

Junior midfielder Alaina Kalin said the Hoosiers are aware of the Racers’ solid start and will not take their opponent lightly, especially considering she was part of the team that suffered the loss in the previous meeting.

“There’s some revenge there,” Kalin said. “We have to come out way stronger this time since they beat us. We’re all ready for it and know we have to be right from the whistle.”

Van Bennekom said the Hoosiers will focus on correcting the “embarrassing” mistake they made last time around against the Racers: conceding goals on the counterattack after losing possession.

“I still remember it,” van Bennekom said. “They’ve proved they can score goals this year and can beat Power Five teams each year. It’ll be one of our toughest games of the season.”

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