Indiana women’s soccer settled for a 0-0 draw against Maryland Sunday in College Park, Maryland, concluding a three-match road trip. Indiana went 1-1-1 in that time.
Indiana was held scoreless for the second-straight match following its 3-0 loss to Penn State on Thursday. Through its last four matches, Indiana has scored only one goal.
Going into the match, the Hoosiers were fifth in the Big Ten standings while the Terrapins were tied for last with the Nebraska Cornhuskers with a 0-5-2 record in conference play. With the draw, the Hoosiers’ record moves to 9-3-4.
Indiana head coach Erwin van Bennekom expressed his disappointment with the result in a post-match interview.
“I thought we fought hard and kept ourselves in the game and created OK chances, but not enough great chances,” van Bennekom said.
The Hoosiers dominated possession in the opening half hour, but had little to show for it with just two shots on target in the first half. Sophomore forward Anna Bennett had the Hoosiers’ first chance at a goal in the 13th minute, but her low shot was comfortably handled by Terrapin graduate goalkeeper Liz Brucia.
In the 23rd minute, Indiana senior defender Oliwia Wos curled in a dangerous corner kick from the right side that was goal-bound, but Brucia punched the ball away and graduate forward Melanie Forbes committed a foul.
Junior goalkeeper Madeline Smith replaced Brucia at halftime and, with little trouble, made four saves of her own to keep Indiana off the scoresheet.
The Hoosiers’ best chance to score came in the 65th minute. A deep throw-in into the Terrapins’ 18-yard box caused Smith to come off her line during a scramble, and freshman forward Jordyn Levy tried to punish her for it, but her shot at the right post was blocked by several Terrapin defenders.
The rest of regulation and the two overtime periods saw a back-and-forth affair in which neither team was able to find sustained possession in the midfield. When the Hoosier and Terrapin attackers did get higher up in the field, they settled for long-distance strikes that usually went off target.
A third of the Hoosiers’ 18 shots were registered by sophomore forward Anna Bennett, whose free kick in the 109th minute would have stolen the win if not for Smith’s alert positioning on the play.
For all their offensive struggles, the Hoosiers proved difficult to break down on the defensive side of the ball. The Terrapins weren’t able to add to their two shots on target from halftime onward.
Despite the disappointing result, freshman goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg earned her ninth shutout of the season, tying Indiana’s single-season individual record and helping the program set a new single-season record of 10. Indiana remains first in the Big Ten with just eight goals allowed.
Van Bennekom said getting another clean sheet provides some sense of comfort for the Hoosiers, but there are glaring issues that need to be addressed in the attacking third. He noted the Hoosiers’ length and quality of possession are not up to standards.
“You’re always as good as your last game,” van Bennekom said. “Obviously, we also didn’t have a good game against Penn State, so there is (cause for concern).”
The Hoosiers remain in fifth in the Big Ten standings pending other results around the league, and their remaining matches to close out the regular season won’t get any easier.
Indiana will have a few days of rest before its regular- season home finale against Rutgers at 7 p.m. Thursday. Rutgers is perfect in Big Ten play at 8-0-0 and first in the conference standings.