Indiana women’s soccer has had plenty of time to reflect on its four-game losing streak — the program’s longest since 2018. The team had no games this week to prepare to take on No. 10 Rutgers on Sunday.
Rutgers also had the week off following its 3-0 win at Purdue on Oct. 2. At the same time, Indiana was losing its fourth straight with a 2-0 loss to Nebraska.
The Scarlet Knights are 11-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in conference play after five matches. Three of those five conference games were ranked opponents, so the record is even more impressive considering Rutgers has already faced its toughest Big Ten competition.
Indiana, on the other hand, has lost four straight games after starting the season 2-0-6. It’s the first time since 2018 that Indiana has dropped this many consecutive matches, and this game is one of the toughest games of the season considering the Scarlet Knights were picked as co-conference favorites in the preseason poll.
Not only is Rutgers currently ranked tenth in the country, they are the reigning Big Ten regular season champions. They clinched the program’s first outright title in Bloomington last October with a 2-0 win in a match where Indiana freshman goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg was unavailable as she was called up to the German U-20 National Team. Despite losing in the Big Ten Championship to Michigan, Rutgers made it all the way to the College Cup as a one seed before falling to the eventual champions in Florida State University on penalties in the national semifinal.
Rutgers win to secure the conference championship continued the dominance of the Scarlet Knights in the all-time series, as they lead 6-1-1. Indiana’s only win came in 2020, when Melanie Forbes scored the game-winner in overtime to give the Hoosiers the 1-0 win.
Rutgers is led by Mike O’Neill, the reigning Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading Rutgers to a perfect 10-0 conference record. O’Neill is in his 23rd season as head coach of the Scarlet Knights.
Junior forwards Sam Kroeger and Allison Lowrey lead the team with seven goals apiece. Kroeger scored two of the team’s three goals in the win against the Boilermakers. In net, graduate Meagan McClelland is allowing less than a goal per game and has 30 saves this season. In addition, she is the active-career NCAA leader in shutouts with 41.
First kick from Yurcak Field is at 3 p.m. ET, following the conclusion of the men’s match between the two schools in Piscataway, New Jersey.