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The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

IU women’s soccer scores two goals in 38 seconds in comeback win against Western Michigan

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After a tough loss and a 12-hour round-trip journey in Sunday’s clash against the University of Memphis, IU women’s soccer returned to action Thursday evening for a non-conference matchup against Western Michigan University. 

Coming into the game, IU had only scored twice in their first four games of the season. 

The Hoosiers scored twice in just 38 seconds Thursday to take the lead, doubling their season total and propelling them to a 2-1 victory.

Despite the lack of offense early this season, IU head coach Erwin van Bennekom’s side was out to end their goal-scoring dry spell. Sophomore forward Anna Bennett had the first shot on net for the team with a strike just outside of the 6-yard box, and from then, the chances kept pouring on. 

In the first 11 minutes of play, the Hoosiers had six shots on net including two back-to-back chances from sophomore forward Jen Blitchok and senior defender Megan Wampler in the 11th minute. But despite the early offensive chances, the team was still locked in a scoreless tie with the Broncos for most of the first half. 

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Sophomore forward Jen Blitchok kicks the ball Sept. 2, 2021, in Bill Armstrong Stadium. IU defeated Western Michigan University 2-1. Izzy Myszak

In the 43rd minute on only their second shot of the game, Western Michigan fifth-year midfielder Bailey Korhorn buried a shot past freshman goaltender Jamie Gerstenberg to give her side a 1-0 lead over IU. 

Despite having five corner kicks, 15 shots and the vast majority of possession, the Hoosiers trailed the Broncos by a goal at the end of the first half. 

After the break, IU returned to playing the same aggressive and dominant brand of soccer showcased in the first half. 

In the 60th minute, Blitchok found another open lane, but this time she gently sneaked in a ball on frame past Western Michigan fifth-year goaltender Maggie Rogers to tie the game. 

Just 38 seconds later, IU won the kickoff and sprinted up the field to give a wide open look just inside the 17-yard box to freshman forward Jordyn Levy. She struck the shot straight into the back of the net, and IU had the 2-1 lead.

Van Bennekom has said in order for his team to score a single goal they must have at least five good chances before. At the 75th minute, van Bennekom’s program had 21 shots and 2 goals. 

But tonight, 2 goals were good enough as IU snuck back into the game and sealed a 2-1 victory over Western Michigan. 

In his postgame press conference, van Bennekom was pleased with his team’s performance and effort. 

“That’s not a great feeling playing such a dominant first half, while still being down a goal,” van Bennekom said. “It’s so easy to start thinking ‘what if we don’t score,’ but to be so dominant and score two great goals is a great feeling.” 

Despite all of that, van Bennekom still had some choice words regarding his team’s offensive struggles this year.

“Some of our shot selection and the quality of those shots weren’t the best, but it was good enough tonight,” van Bennekom said.

IU returns to action at 7:00 PM Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium for senior night against Southeast Missouri State University. 

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