Indiana women’s soccer continued its three-game road trip with a 3-0 loss Wednesday night against Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania.
The Hoosiers entered the match with high expectations, following an impressive 1-0 win against Northwestern who was then in third in the Big Ten.
If the expectations weren’t already high, Indiana has only had one win against Penn State in program history, coming in 1996 in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers have often struggled in the first half across their fall 2021 campaign and once again Wednesday night.
Just minutes into the game, Penn State junior forward Ally Schlegel and freshman midfielder Jilly Shimkin bombarded Indiana freshman goaltender Jamie Gerstenberg with a pair of shots aimed high and right on net that were blocked.
While Gerstenberg and the defense were able to make it out unscathed, more problems started appearing for the Hoosiers.
In the eighth minute, Indiana junior midfielder Alina Kalin was charged with a yellow card after a hard collision on a Penn State attacker.
Following Kalin’s foul, Penn State continued to out-possess Indiana but were limited in chances to actually send shots on frame until the 25th minute.
The Indiana defense finally began to collapse just past the 40 minute mark when Penn State junior forward Jordan Canniff sent one into the lower right corner of the goal. Gerstenberg blocked the shot but it was redirected back on frame by sophomore forward Elle Kershner to put Penn State up a goal.
Minutes later, the first half ended with the Hoosiers chasing one goal.
Indiana began the second half with a ball and an offensive vengeance. The Hoosiers possessed the ball for the entirety of the half’s first four minutes until sophomore forward Anna Bennett soared her shot over the Penn State goal.
The Nittany Lions began to drive back down their side of the field at the beginning of the second half. Senior forward Sam Coffey threatened with a shot in the lower left corner of the goal at the 53 minute mark.
In the 56th minute, Coffey was taken down hard by the Hoosier defense and was awarded a penalty kick. She buried it past Gerstenberg to put Penn State up two.
After Coffey’s goal, Penn State took back possession. Caniff scored her second goal of the evening in the 65th minute with a shot in the lower right hand corner to put the Nittany Lions up 3-0.
After Caniff’s second goal, neither Indiana nor Penn State put up a shot on goal for the remainder of the contest.
Indiana head coach Erwin van Bennekom was short in his post game press conference.
“We weren't very good, we deserved to lose,” van Bennekom said.
Although his team could fend off Penn State from scoring for much of the first half, he said the way his side was playing guaranteed at some point Penn State was bound to score.
The Hoosiers are now 9-3-3 on the season and 3-2-2 in Big Ten Conference play.
Indiana plays next against Maryland at 1 p.m. Sunday at Maryland Soccer Stadium in College Park, Maryland.