Coming off a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against Illinois last Sunday, Indiana women’s soccer tied with Ohio State 1-1 on Thursday night in another Big Ten matchup against Ohio State at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Entering the match, Indiana head coach Erwin van Bennekom spoke at a press conference on Wednesday about the upcoming slate of conference matchups ahead for his team with Ohio State Thursday and Michigan at home on Sunday.
“From a psychological standpoint, it’s easier to play games that are not must-win games with teams in the top 25 — it’s everything to gain and nothing to lose really,” van Bennekom said.
After a few strong offensive chances early in the game, Ohio State senior forward Kayla Fischer buried a shot past Indiana freshman goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg to put the Buckeyes up 1-0 at the eighth minute.
Fischer’s strike marked the third match Indiana had conceded a goal in the first 20 minutes of play in the Big Ten and the fifth goal Gerstenberg allowed on the season.
However, unlike previous showings this year when Indiana had gone down early, the Hoosiers came back with a vengeance.
Sophomore forward Jen Blitchok and junior midfielder Avery Lockwood both tallied strong chances for the Hoosiers at the 14th and 23rd minutes. But after another Lockwood shot went just wide of the net at the 40-minute mark, Indiana had 10 shots but no goals.
Indiana came out for the second half continuing to play with the same vengeance seen in the last 37 minutes in the first half. The team couldn’t find any goals, but Blitchok came close to scoring with a header opportunity at the 48-minute mark.
Freshman defender Camille Hamm was charged with a yellow card after a slide tackle at the 60th minute. Indiana rebounded after the foul and found themselves with the ball deep in Ohio State territory where Jen Blitchok scored off a header from sophomore forward Anna Benett to equalize at the 61st minute mark.
After the on-frame header from Blitchok, the momentum continued in the Hoosiers direction with freshman midfielder Kelly Monaco yards away from putting Indiana up by one. Buckeye senior goalkeeper Bailey Kolinski stopped the opportunity with an outstretched hand.
After 12 more minutes, Indiana was going to overtime for the second time this season.
Indiana had an opportunity to go home with the victory after a shot from freshman forward Jordyn Levy was inches from crossing the goal line. Officials reviewed Levy’s shot ultimately confirming it was not a goal.
Indiana had no other real offensive chances in overtime aside from another shot from Blitchok in the 106th minute.
The final whistle blew at the 110th minute mark, and the Hoosiers left Columbus with one point.
Despite the result, van Bennekom said the match was one of Indiana’s best of the year, but he felt like his team deserved more.
Indiana ended the night with 23 shots, which was the most shots it has had against any Big Ten opponent so far this season. With the win, Indiana moved to 8-2-2 this season and 2-1-1 in the Big Ten.
Indiana’s next mathup is against Michigan at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium in another Big Ten matchup.