Indiana Daily Student

Indiana women’s soccer offense remains stagnant, defense decays against Ohio State

<p>Redshirt freshman midfielder Ava Akeel prepares to pass the ball to sophomore forward Jordyn Levy on Sept. 29, 2022, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Indiana lost to Ohio State 4-0 on Thursday. </p>

Redshirt freshman midfielder Ava Akeel prepares to pass the ball to sophomore forward Jordyn Levy on Sept. 29, 2022, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Indiana lost to Ohio State 4-0 on Thursday.

Throughout the first half of the Indiana women’s soccer season, one thing remained constant: 0-0 draws. 

The Hoosiers broke the program record for consecutive shutout minutes with 788 minutes, cementing themselves as one of the top defenses in the Big Ten. Sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg slid into the top-three all time in Indiana’s career saves list after earning her 15th on Sept. 18. Indiana earned quality shutouts against the University of Memphis and then-No. 8 Penn State, proving that it can stick with the big names in women’s collegiate soccer. 

Now, those offensive zeroes stick out like a sore thumb. 

Indiana stayed scoreless in conference play after a 0-4 loss to Ohio State Thursday night, collecting its third total and consecutive loss of the season. The Hoosiers have conceded nine goals in those losses after starting the 2022 campaign with eight consecutive shutout matches. 

[Related: Indiana women’s soccer loses second consecutive match, falls to Wisconsin 0-2]

Graduate goalkeeper Bethany Kopel took the place of Gerstenberg, who was suspended after a red card against Wisconsin on Sunday, between the posts against the Buckeyes. Kopel’s performance wasn’t poor on an individual level — she collected eight saves and defended 23 total Ohio State shots. Head coach Erwin van Bennekom even stated that the outcome of the match would not have been any different had Gerstenberg played. 

The Indiana offense was simply unstable. 

The Hoosiers attempted eight total shots, three of which were on goal. All three quality attempts to score came before the match hit the one-hour mark. 

“The first half was OK. The second half, there was basically nothing,” van Bennekom said.  

Indiana’s passing game was consistently halted by strong Ohio State defenders and forwards, and there was never a true chance for a breakaway towards the goal.  

“We’re not doing that well — keeping the ball manageable, dictating the game with the ball and creating chances,” van Bennekom said. 

Dating back to last season, the Hoosiers have now gone eight-consecutive conference matches without scoring. Their only goals this season came against Indiana State University and Trine University, an NCAA D-III program.  

“That doesn’t feel good,” van Bennekom said. “We definitely need to change that. I feel pressure because we aren’t winning.” 

Indiana’s next chance will come against Nebraska at 1 p.m. Sunday in Bloomington.  

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