It was on a warm night in Columbus last Thursday, when Indiana women’s soccer was given its first loss of the 2023 campaign in a 2-1 loss to Ohio State. The Hoosiers looked to rebound off that loss Sunday afternoon against Minnesota, but neither side prevailed in a 0-0 draw.
Going into the game, the two teams showcased two of the Big Ten’s top defenses. Indiana had allowed just eight goals all season, while the Golden Gophers had conceded nine. Therefore, it was no surprise that Sunday’s matchup ended in a scoreless result.
Although Indiana’s first draw during conference play featured no goals, the game had no shortage of excitement. Both teams traded scoring opportunities in a fast paced and aggressive matchup. Time and time and again however, the respective defensive fronts were first to the ball, clearing away the danger and preventing any goals.
Assistant coach Tim Verschuren remarked on the Hoosiers defensive prowess following the game.
“We had to deal with (Minnesota’s) direct play,” Verschuren said. “There were a lot of crosses from them in the box, and we spent a lot of time with our team on that. They put a lot of players forward and a lot of good crosses but credit to our players for dealing with that.”
Additionally, the play from Indiana’s junior goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg provided the Indiana defense with a lifeline that proved crucial in the game's second half. The official box score only credited Gerstenberg with three saves, yet it was the keeper's aggressive presence on breakaways and sure-handed composure on set pieces which kept Minnesota off the scoreboard.
One piece of the box score that may turn some heads is the 17 fouls the Hoosiers committed in the game, one short of the team's season high. Indiana’s aggressive play style was certainly evident throughout the ninety minutes, especially from junior defender Camille Hamm.
After being awarded a yellow card for a hard tackle in the 52nd minute, Hamm continued to challenge with high intensity. In the 85th minute, it looked as though the California native was going to receive Indiana’s first red card of the season, but the head referee opted to let Hamm off with a stern warning.
The Hoosiers will look to get back into the win column next Sunday, when they take on in-state rival Purdue on the road. Indiana has not won against the Boilermakers since 2014, but the Hoosiers’ performance this season has fans hopeful that the “Golden Boot” will return to Bloomington. The game is set to kickoff at 1 p.m. in West Lafayette and will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.