Another match played, and another loss is recorded for Indiana women’s soccer. After Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to No. 15 Michigan State, the losing streak reached six games.
This streak is the most since the program dropped six straight in 2011. Indiana has never lost seven straight in the history of the program in the program’s 30 years of existence.
There’s been a common denominator in the losses: a zero on Indiana’s side of the scoreboard. It’s been 370 days since Indiana last scored in Big Ten play, and 29 days since the Hoosiers last scored. That match: the 5-0 thrashing of Trine, a Division III school. The last time Indiana scored against a Division I school: 43 days ago, when Indiana defeated Indiana State 3-0 for its first win of the season.
The offensive struggles dating back to the end of last season have carried over to this season. Indiana has only scored eight goals total this year, and they all came in just two of 14 matches.
For just the fourth time this season, Indiana conceded in the first half — just five minutes into the match. Senior forward Lauren DeBeau played a pass to freshman midfielder Emerson Sargeant, who floated a cross in, headed home by junior midfielder Zivana Labovic.
That was all the scoring Michigan State needed to grab all three points, but it could — and arguably should — have tacked on an insurance goal.
The Spartans best chance to score a second goal was in the 75th minute, when junior forward Ranya Senhaji had a wide open net following a low cross from a teammate. Senhaji had an easy tap in to double the score but got under it and missed it over the crossbar with 15 minutes remaining in the match.
Indiana’s best chance to score came with just a few minutes left on the clock. Junior forward Jen Blitchok’s effort on a volley from just inside the box comfortably fell into the hands of Michigan State redshirt senior goalkeeper Lauren Kozal. Kozal made three saves to keep the clean sheet.
Michigan State continued its dominance over Indiana all-time. The Spartans secured its 20th win against the Hoosiers, and the third straight, all by the same 1-0 score line. Michigan State is now 20-8-2 in its history against Indiana.
With the loss, the Hoosiers dropped to 2-6-6 on the season, while the Spartans improved to 11-1-3 and remain undefeated at home.
In the Big Ten standings, Indiana remains at the bottom with just one point through seven matches, while Michigan State stays atop of the conference with 19 points, tied with Northwestern.
Indiana returns home for its final two games at Bill Armstrong Stadium this season. The first is against rival Purdue at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Boilermakers have just one more point than Indiana in the standings.