State College, Penn. - Indiana travels to State College, Penn. for Friday's Big Ten game with No. 9 Penn State. While the history of the conference rivalry has IU with just one win in 10 tries, this year's squad has a truly unique blend of Big Ten experience and young talent that may prove to test the perennial power of the Nittany Lions.
Indiana lays claims to junior goalkeeper Shaunna Daugherty who has 14 saves after two Big Ten games to lead the conference with seven saves per game. With Penn State's loss of three-time All-American Emily Oleksiuk guarding the goal, the Hoosiers may have found the precise place to attack.
In 2001 the Hoosiers hosted a then-number-seven-ranked Penn State and came away with a disappointing 4-1 loss. In the history of women's soccer at Indiana, the team has only netted one win, a 1-0 victory that came in the 1996 Big Ten Tournament, a year that the Hoosiers grabbed their only conference championship to date.
After scoring both goals in IU's 2-0 win over Xavier on Sept. 12 for her third and fourth goals of the season, junior Shelly Gruszka has not found the back of the net since. Friday afternoon's matchup may be just the opportunity she has been waiting for.
The Lions own a five-game undefeated streak and aren't looking to give that up any time soon. The Hoosiers may take exception to Penn State trying to keep its streak alive as they own a four-game unbeaten streak.
One of the main obstacles that IU will face is 2001 Hermann Trophy wnner Christie Welsh, a standout for the Nittany Lions. A continual scoring threat, Welsh has already racked up five goals and eight assists for 18 points in 2002.
Although it is still early in the season for all Big Ten teams, the Hoosiers are optimistic for success in 2002 after their performance in early preseason play and a 2-2 double overtime draw with Minnesota and a 1-0 shutout over Wisconsin in conference action.
PSU finished 2001 atop the conference standings for the fourth-straight season, with a 21-4-1 overall record and 8-1-1 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions finished the postseason with a loss to North Carolina and a final, sixth-place ranking.
Game time is set for 5:00 p.m. EST at Jeffrey Field with the Indiana vs. Penn State men's game to follow at 7:30 p.m.