For the first time since 2013, Indiana women’s soccer has punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament. During the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Monday afternoon, the Hoosiers received an at-large bid to play on the road against No. 21 St. Louis University in the first round of the tournament Friday evening.
The No. 6 seeded Billikens are coming off their sixth straight Ohio Valley Conference title, after finishing the season with a 17-2-2 record. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers are seeking to bounce back from a first-round loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.
St. Louis has been on a tear in its last ten games, outscoring opponents 36-0 and producing nothing but victories. In fact, the Billikens haven’t lost a game since Aug. 31 against No. 25 Xavier University.
Indiana on the other hand has lost two of its last three. Both losses were against Penn State, who shut the Hoosiers out on both occasions. Indiana needs a turnaround to come out of its win-or-go-home matchup at St. Louis — though such a change is something the Hoosiers are quite familiar with.
In 2022, Indiana finished the season with just one conference victory, which led to grim predictions for the team’s 2023 campaign. However, the Hoosiers have drastically turned the tide this season, posting a 12-3-4 record and finishing fifth in a competitive Big Ten Conference.
The story of the season has been the dramatic improvement on the offensive side of the ball, as Indiana has scored 31 goals on the season, compared to an abysmal 11 in 2022. A major part of that production was graduate forward Paige Webber, whose 12 goals on the season paved the way to a spot on the All-Big Ten first team.
Additionally, junior goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg has contributed numerous sound performances in the Hoosiers 2023 campaign. The German-born keeper posted 10 shutouts on the year in a season where she was named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year.
Both Indiana stars will be in action during the Hoosiers' first-round matchup as they take on the steamrolling Billikens. The game is set to kick off at 8 p.m. Friday and will be broadcast on ESPN+.