Indiana Daily Student

Freshmen shine as Indiana women's soccer swarms Louisville in 2-0 victory

Indiana senior midfielder Anna Bennett looks to pass to freshman midfielder Elle Britt. Indiana defeated the University of Louisville 2-0 on Thursday night.
Indiana senior midfielder Anna Bennett looks to pass to freshman midfielder Elle Britt. Indiana defeated the University of Louisville 2-0 on Thursday night.

Indiana women’s soccer took the field against the University of Louisville on Thursday night hoping to build off its 2-0 win against Northern Illinois University on Sept. 3. Louisville, coming off its first win of the season, attempted to shut down the Hoosiers’ offensive attack but ultimately fell 2-0 to Indiana. 

Indiana got off to a piping hot start, pressuring the Cardinals defense and taking three shots within the first six minutes of play. The Hoosiers found their first set piece of the match in the ninth minute after earning a corner kick, which would prove to be valuable. After senior midfielder Anna Bennett sent a long cross into the box, the ball found the head of freshman defender Piper Coffield who sent a shot deflecting off a Louisville player and into the net.  

Following the game, head coach Erwin van Bennekom noted the significance of set pieces for the Hoosiers attack. 

“I think fifty percent of our goals come from set pieces,” van Bennekom said after the game. “I think we've scored six or seven goals from set pieces so it’s really important. We spend a lot of time on it, and we obviously have a great set piece taker in Anna.” 

The goal was Coffield’s second of the season, making her the second Indiana player with multiple goals on the season, along with graduate forward Paige Webber. 

The Hoosiers’ defense lived up to its strong reputation throughout the first half, not only holding the Louisville attack to zero goals, but zero shots as well. Time and time again the Indiana backline was first to the ball, forcing turnovers and ultimately dismantling the Cardinals offense. 

Indiana went into the second half seeking an insurance goal to put itself in a more convincing position. Fortunately for the Hoosiers, that insurance came in expedient fashion. Just one minute into the second period, freshman midfielder Elle Britt smashed a slicing shot from outside the 18-yard box into the far corner of the goal, earning her first career goal with the Hoosiers. 

Throughout the final 45 minutes the Hoosiers defense remained stiff, with the Cardinals finishing the game shooting just five total shots, none of which were on goal. and not a single shot on goal. The shutout gave junior goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg her fifth clean sheet of the season, leading the Big Ten. 

All in all, van Bennekom said the game was one of Indiana’s best performances throughout the season. 

“I think it's the best performance of the year,” van Bennekom said. “Complete performance, defensively sound, just a great performance against a good team.” 

Indiana will wrap up their non-conference slate Sunday afternoon against Division III opponent Hanover College. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus. 

Follow reporters Quinn Richards (@Quinn_richa) and PJ Katona (@PJ_Katona) for updates throughout the Indiana women’s soccer season.

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