Bloomington, Ind. The Indiana womens soccer team suffered a 2-1 heartbreaking loss to the 20th ranked Fighting Illini of Illinois Friday night at Armstrong Stadium. With the loss, the Hoosier slip to 6-7-1 overall and 3-4-1 in conference play. Illinois improves to 10-3-1, 6-1-1.
We played well but just didnt finish out, said head coach Mick Lyon. We were all over them in the first half, but they beat us in the midfield by winning more headers, and that was the determent in the game.
The Fighting Illinis leading scorer Tara Hurless scored her seventh goal of the season, putting Illinois up 1-0 at the 30:40 mark. Hurless was alone from 30-yards out and blasted a shot right on target. Senior Shaunna Daugherty leaped and attempted to punch the ball out but the ball tipped off her gloves and fell into the back of the net.
The Hoosiers would not let up and stormed back with a goal of their own. Hoosier freshman Megan Pipkens notched her third goal of the season after taking control of a long kick from junior midfielder Kim Grodek as she was heading toward the goal. Pipkens blew by her defender and chipped the ball smoothly over the Fighting Illinis goalkeeper, Leisha Alcia and tying the game at 1-1 before heading into the locker room
As expected, the second half grew into an intense battle between the two teams. The Indiana defense was at their best as they battled and cleared just about every ball that got near their territory. But, Hurless would unexpectedly strike again, getting behind the Hoosier defense and striking the ball under the upper left corner past second half starter Stacey Van Boxmeer at the 87:12 mark.
The Hoosiers will play their second game of the weekend on Sunday against Northwestern. Game time is set for noon and will be played at Armstrong Stadium. Following the womens game, the Indiana mens soccer team will square off against Ohio State at 2:30 p.m.