Graduate forward Paige Webber has been nothing short of exceptional this season for Indiana women’s soccer. Webber is now second in the nation in goals with 11, and she is one goal away from tying two other players for the most in the NCAA this season. She recorded her second brace of the season Sunday against Rutgers and scored the game winning goal in the 85th minute.
Last season, the Hoosiers scored just 11 goals as a team. Now nine games into the season, Webber has recorded 11 goals by herself with three multi-goal performances, and the Hoosiers have doubled their total from last season with 22 goals as a team.
Indiana’s head coach Erwin van Bennekom and other players on Indiana have continued to express how much emphasis they put this off season on creating more chances in the attacking third of the field. Webber has taken advantage of the Hoosiers’ new mentality this season.
“After a season like last year, scoring those goals and creating those chances is what we needed,” van Bennekom said Aug. 17 after defeating Illinois State University.
Not only did Webber score two goals in the game Sunday, she also recorded an assist less than one minute into the game. She forced Rutgers’ defense to turn the ball over, and she quickly turned around and centered the ball to senior midfielder Anna Bennett. Bennett scored her second goal of the season, and Webber picked up her second assist.
Head coach Erwin van Bennekom has had nothing but high praise this season for Webber as he has expressed his gratitude for her leadership this season.
“And obviously, what a great goal at the end from Paige,” van Bennekom said after the game.
She has scored in just about every way possible this season. Whether it is chipping the ball over the goalkeeper, dribbling the ball around the goalkeeper or being in the right position off a reflection, she always seems to find a way to put herself in the best position possible to score.
Indiana is now 7-0-2 on the season and 1-0-0 in conference. The Hoosiers take on Illinois on Thursday on the road and will look to remain undefeated this season.