Following a dominant performance in its first road test Aug. 27 against the University of Evansville, Indiana women's soccer rode its momentum into Knoxville to take on the University of Tennessee. The No. 25 Volunteers entered Thursday evening’s game after a 2-1 defeat to Southern Methodist University.
The Hoosiers looked to be the more confident side early in the game, controlling the pace and finding multiple scoring opportunities within the first 30 minutes of play.
The first score of the contest would come just minutes later in the 33rd minute when, after a needle-threading pass from junior midfielder Hope Paredes, graduate forward Paige Webber’s left foot slotted a shot into the right corner of the goal. Webber’s third goal of the season put Indiana up 1-0, but the momentum didn’t stop there.
Less than one minute after the initial goal, senior midfielder Sofia Black found herself on the end of a ball that had slipped past Tennessee defenders. Without a single dribble, Black struck a shot from just inside the 18-yard box past the outstretched goalkeeper, giving the Hoosiers a 2-0 lead.
Heading into halftime, Indiana appeared to be in the driver's seat. However, the second half told a different story. The Volunteers came out of the intermission determined to prove why they were a nationally ranked squad.
In the 53rd minute, sophomore forward Kameron Simmonds found a rare opening in the Hoosier back line, allowing her to power in a shot past junior goalie Jamie Gerstenberg, cutting the score to 2-1. The goal heavily swung the momentum in favor of the Volunteers, as the Indiana defense allowed 18 shots in the second half.
An equalizing goal felt inevitable and that’s exactly what Tennessee found in the 79th minute. Sophomore defender Ally Brown sent in a lofty cross towards the Hoosier goal where senior forward Jaida Thomas tapped in an acrobatic score, making the score 2-2.
The final whistle blew with the teams still level, putting an end to the thrilling draw. The Hoosiers will return home Sunday evening to host Northern Illinois University at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The game will be broadcast on BTN+ with kickoff set for 7 p.m.