Indiana women’s soccer announced its 2023 fall schedule on Wednesday, as the Hoosiers look to improve on a 3-7-7 season from a year ago.
Indiana’s season features 18 regular season matches. Eight of them are against nonconference opponents and 10 are against Big Ten schools. Of the 18 total matches, 11 are at Bill Armstrong Stadium, including six of the nonconference tilts.
Indiana will play its first three regular-season games at home, and half of the ten Big Ten matches will be played at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
“We are very excited about our 2023 season,” head coach Erwin van Bennekom said Wednesday. “Our schedule is challenging, and we have some top-level games in and out of conference play, at home and on the road.”
Indiana’s season unofficially begins August 6, when the Hoosiers host Ball State University in an exhibition match. Indiana and Ball State played to a 0-0 draw in the Hoosiers’ home opener last August.
Three days later, Indiana welcomes Bellarmine University to Bloomington for another preseason exhibition.
Indiana’s regular season will commence Thursday, Aug. 17, at home, as Indiana hosts Illinois State University, and will conclude in College Park on Sunday, Oct. 23, playing Maryland.
After opening up the season against the Redbirds, Indiana will play Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on Aug. 20 and Morehead State University on Aug. 24, respectively. The Hoosiers tied the Hokies 0-0 in the second game for both teams last season.
The Hoosiers hit the road for the first time in late August, with a short trip to the University of Evansville Aug. 27 followed by a visit to the University of Tennessee on the final day of the month.
September sees the Hoosiers play seven matches, with the first four at home. Northern Illinois University Sept. 3, the University of Louisville Sept. 7 and Hanover College Sept. 10 will travel to Bloomington to round out non-conference play.
Rutgers is the first Big Ten opponent and the finale of a four-match homestand. The Scarlet Knights and Hoosiers open up conference play on Sept. 17.
The final three matches of the month feature home games versus Illinois and Ohio State, sandwiching a trip to Northwestern.
October starts with a contest against Minnesota at home on the first of the month, and then Indiana has a full week off for the only time during conference play before heading up the road to face rival Purdue on Oct. 8.
The next week sees the Hoosiers host both Michigan schools in the conference — the Spartans on Oct. 12 and the Wolverines three days later.
The final two matches of the regular season are Indiana’s longest trips, as the Hoosiers will embark east to play Penn State in State College on Oct. 19. Indiana will head from there to College Park to finish out the campaign on Oct. 22 against the Maryland.
Of the 18 regular season opponents, Indiana faced 10 of them in 2022, going 1-5-4 with the only win coming against Michigan in the season finale.
Indiana concluded last season with a record of 3-7-7 and 1-7-2 in Big Ten play for a total of just five points, finishing ahead of only Purdue and missing out on postseason play. Indiana will not play Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota in 2023. The Hoosiers lost to the Golden Gophers and Badgers on the road last season and did not play the Hawkeyes in 2022.
The Big Ten Tournament begins with quarterfinal action Oct. 29, one week after the regular season ends.
Despite the disappointing fall campaign last year due to low scoring and minimal wins, Indiana did make some strides during the spring season. Indiana went undefeated in the five matches, winning four and drawing the other one. Indiana beat Bellarmine 3-0, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis 4-0, Purdue University Fort Wayne 5-0 and Illinois 1-0 in the lone spring exhibition played at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
Indiana drew against Cincinnati 0-0, a common scoreline in 2022. Indiana played in six goalless matches last season and did not concede a single time during the spring. The 13 goals in the five spring matches bested the team’s goal total in the 17 matches last fall.