Indiana women’s soccer will attempt to turn its season around when it takes a trip north to East Lansing, Michigan to square off against No. 15 Michigan State on Thursday.
The Spartans have been one of the big surprises in the Big Ten this season, as they sit tied at the top of the conference with 16 points. The team has an impressive record of 10-1-3 overall, and 5-0-1 in conference play after it was picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll.
Michigan State earned its first national ranking since 2009 after a 2-0 victory over Michigan on Sunday. The Spartans have won four matches in a row and six of its last seven. Their only loss came at the hands of then-No. 11 University of Arkansas back on September 4th.
Indiana is coming off of a 1-0 defeat to No. 10 Rutgers last Sunday, and the team will play another ranked opponent in the Spartans just four days later. The last time Indiana came away with a victory against a ranked school was in September 2017, when the Hoosiers knocked off Southern Methodist University 1-0 in Dallas, Texas.
[Related: No goals, no points: Indiana women’s soccer extends scoreless streak in Big Ten games to one year]
Indiana has lost five straight matches for the first time since 2011, when it lost the final six matches of the season. The Hoosiers are 2-5-6 overall, 0-5-1 in Big Ten play and tied for last in the conference with Purdue.
Players to watch for the Spartans include senior forward Lauren DeBeau, who scored her team-leading eighth goal of the season against the Wolverines on Sunday. Three of those eight goals have been game-winners. DeBeau also leads the team with 18 points.
In net for Michigan State is redshirt senior Lauren Kozal, who has racked up seven clean sheets this season. Kozal has ten wins this year and has totaled 39 saves and a goals against average of 0.46.
Michigan State has dominated the all-time series, 19-8-2. The most recent meeting was at Bill Armstrong Stadium in September 2021 for the Big Ten opener. The Spartans won that match 1-0 behind a first-half goal from forward Camryn Evans courtesy of a mistake at the back from Indiana.
First kick from DeMartin Stadium is at 7 p.m. ET. The match will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.