While the Bloomington weather was unpredictable Sunday afternoon for Indiana women’s soccer’s non-conference clash against the University of Memphis, one constant remained the same: sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg not allowing any goals.
The Hoosiers successfully extended their defensive scoreless streak against the reigning American Athletic Conference Tournament champions and drew for the fifth time in six games this season. All five draws have ended 0-0.
The shutout streak of six matches and 540 minutes now ranks second all-time in program history, only behind the 1993 inaugural campaign, when Indiana went 720 minutes without surrendering a goal.
The Hoosiers allowed 16 shots and five shots on goal from the Tigers, but Gerstenberg was up to her usual self and stopped every shot, even when dealing with a slick soccer ball.
“Jamie is our last line of defense,” head coach Erwin van Bennekom said after the match. “If we do things right, we don’t need her. We needed her today.”
Van Bennekom said the Virginia Tech match was similar to this game in the sense that Gerstenberg saved Indiana from a loss. The team was unable to “keep the ball in front.”
Despite van Bennekom’s frustrations, he did point out that Indiana lost to Memphis 1-0 last season on the road, and despite all the statistics that favored Memphis on Sunday, the result improved from a loss in 2021 to a draw in 2022.
After kickoff was pushed back an hour due to inclement weather, the game was again in jeopardy of being stopped as the skies opened up during halftime, but the game continued, albeit in sloppy conditions. It also rained Memphis shots in the second 45 minutes as the visitors sent ten shots towards the goal frame, but none found the nylon.
Van Bennekom said the pitch conditions had less impact than he expected.
“The field help up pretty well...it was a little slippery out there, but it was fine,” van Bennekom said.
Indiana is back in action on Wednesday in the hopes of extending the scoreless streak to seven straight matches. The Hoosiers welcome Trine University, a DIII school, to Bloomington for a 5 p.m. kickoff.