For the first time since 2011, Indiana women’s soccer has lost five matches in a row following a 1-0 defeat to No. 10 Rutgers on the road Sunday afternoon.
A penalty in the 61st minute was all Rutgers needed to scrape across the breakthrough goal. It was the second straight game Indiana conceded a goal from the penalty spot.
Not only was it another game where Indiana gave away a free opportunity from 12 yards, it was another goose egg on Indiana’s side of the scoreboard. It’s now been ten straight matches in Big Ten play where Indiana has been shut out. The last goal in conference play was Oct. 8, 2021, against Northwestern — nearly a year to date from Sunday's loss at Rutgers.
An offense which sputtered at the end of last season has been dormant this season, as the Hoosiers have failed to score in 11 of 13 matches this season.
Despite having only one shot on goal the entire 90 minutes Sunday, Indiana had the better of chances in the second half versus the reigning Big Ten regular season champions. Redshirt freshman midfielder Ava Akeel had the best of them but couldn’t capitalize. Following a header from sophomore forward Jordyn Levy, Akeel couldn’t get a touch on it to get it past the diving Rutgers goalkeeper.
Indiana totaled just three shots, with the other two coming from freshman forward Izzy Smith, who registered her third start this season. Rutgers had 12 shots and six shots on goal.
For a team that lost former defenders Anna Aehling and Olivia Wos, the question coming into the season was about the back line, and whether or not it could hold just as strong as it did in 2021. While the defense has already allowed the same amount of goals this season as it did all of last year, the problems have primarily been on the offensive side of the ball. Indiana has just eight total goals this season, with five of them coming against a DIII opponent in Trine University.
While it was never going to be easy to go on the road and earn a result against a top-10 program, the lack of offensive opportunities once again cost Indiana a chance at getting back into the match.
Indiana’s short road-trip continues at 7 p.m. Thursday as the Hoosiers travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to play Michigan State.