Indiana women’s soccer is coming off its sixth-consecutive loss in a 1-0 defeat to No. 15 Michigan State Thursday in Bloomington. The Hoosiers have merely three more chances to get into the Big Ten win column this season, the first of which will come on Sunday against rival Purdue.
Indiana has faced five teams currently ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Poll: No. 5 Northwestern, No. 8 Rutgers, No. 15 Michigan State, No. 20 Ohio State and No. 25 Penn State. However, the Boilermakers have a similar resume to that of the Hoosiers, whose only two wins came over a month ago.
[Related: Early deficit too much for Indiana women’s soccer to overcome against No. 15 Michigan State]
Purdue boasts a 3-9-2 record and is the only other team in the Big Ten with zero conference wins. The in-state foes currently sit 13th and 14th in the 14-team conference’s standings.
The Boilermakers have given up 19 total goals compared to the Hoosiers’ 13 in Big Ten matches this season. Purdue’s worst defensive outing came in a 5-2 loss against Wisconsin on Sept. 22. Indiana fell 2-0 to the Badgers, but both goals were given up by graduate goalkeeper Bethany Kopel after sophomore standout Jamie Gerstenberg received a red card and was forced to exit the game.
Purdue had a strong start to the season, defeating then-No. 15 University of Southern California 3-0 in its season opener. The Boilermakers notched victories against Miami University and Kansas State University but have not seen the win column since Sept. 4.
Purdue’s turnaround from the 2021 season has been very similar to Indiana’s. The Boilermakers finished second in the conference after recording a 15-4-3 overall record, and they were ranked No. 16 in the country when they beat Indiana last season.
Indiana head coach Erwin van Bennekom led his team to the most wins in program history with a 9-5-4 record in 2021, just barely missing out on the six-team Big Ten Tournament. Now, both van Bennekom and Purdue head coach Drew Roff have found their squads at the pit of the conference.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. from Bill Armstrong Stadium, where the Hoosiers are celebrating an alumni and Title IX dedication game. The game will be broadcast on BTN.