Another Shutout Victory Keeps Hoosiers Undefeated After 3-0 Win Over Xavier
Sept. 18, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana women's soccer team continued to thrive off of its defense and found more than enough offense to remain unbeaten on the season after a 3-0 victory over Xavier on Wednesday at Armstrong Stadium.
Sophomore Kayleigh Steigerwalt recorded a point for the fourth straight game and Abby Smith posted her fifth career game-winning goal for Indiana, helping the Hoosiers to extend the best start to a season in school history with a 7-0-1 record.
The Hoosiers controlled possession for much of the evening and the stats showed as much, with Indiana totaling 29 shots to just seven for Xavier. However, Xavier did make their shots count by forcing IU goalkeeper Shannon Flower to make four saves in the game. Indiana also drew 10 corner kicks in the game to just two for the Musketeers (5-1-1), who suffered their first loss of the season.
"We were finally able to break things down in the final third of the field by connecting on one more pass before we took the shot and that really paid off for us," Indiana head coach Amy Berbary said.
At the start, it was Xavier that put the pressure on the Indiana goal in the first couple minutes, forcing Flower to make a leaping save. But that offensive outburst only seemed to fuel the Indiana attack for the remainder of the half.
It didn't take long for the Hoosiers to finally break loose and get on the board and it was a pair of familiar names doing the damage. Steigerwalt was able to get around her defender and sent a cross that rolled through the box - somehow avoiding a couple XU defenders and even Lisa Nouanesengsy's foot - before it found Abby Smith waiting at the far post and she put it home for her third goal of the year, giving IU the 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.
After continuing to pressure the Xavier goal in the first half but coming up empty, Indiana set out to change their fortunes in the second half.
"At halftime, I told our team that `One goal is not going to be enough against this team,'" Berbary said. "Xavier was knocking on the door a couple times so we needed to get that second goal, which we did and that really helped put us over the top."
That second goal off the foot of Steigerwalt, but the work to get the ball in position was done by Kate McCusker. It was McCusker that was able to dribble on the left side of the box, while holding off a Xavier defender with her off arm, and find a way to get the shot off. The shot slammed into the right post and came right to the foot of Steigerwalt, who deposited it in the back of the net for her third goal of the year to put IU on top 2-0 in the 69th minute.
But the attack did not stop there, when Lisa Nouanesengesy got in on the act thanks to a perfectly placed pass from Bekah White that put her in on goal on the right side. Nouanesengsy took the first shot from point blank range and it was saved but came bouncing right back to her and she didn't miss the second time. It was her team-leading sixth goal of the season and the second assist of the year for White.
With non-conference play now over, Indiana will turn their attention to Big Ten play which gets underway at Armstrong Stadium at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday against Minnesota.
Check back soon