Hoosiers Ready for Big Ten Tournament
Nov. 7, 2007
SETTING THE SCENE
The Hoosiers finished in the top half of the conference for the second season in a row, the first time in program history that IU has been in the top half in back-to-back years. The fourth-place finish marked the third time that Indiana has been the four seed, while the 1998 squad, finishing third, had the best regular season finish in school history. With a 12-5-2 record, IU is taking aim at the 1998 squad's record 14 victories.
LAST TIME VS. OSU
Indiana had a strong opportunity in the 21st minute with Kristin Arnold narrowly missing her 10th goal of the season. The sophomore ripped a shot from 30 yards and sailed it toward the upper part of the net. The shot glanced off the crossbar and the rebound came to Leigh Anne Cummings, whose shot carried just wide of the net. The Hoosiers posted nine shots in the frame, placing three shots on net.
IU hit the crossbar again just over a minute into the second half. Arnold took a corner from the near side and sent the ball to Chloe McKay just outside the 18. The freshman ripped a shot that glanced off the bar and to Liz Holby on the far side, but OSU was able to disrupt the attempt and clear the ball.
SCOUTING THE BUCKEYES
The Buckeyes are led offensively by Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Lara Dickenmann, who leads the team with 13 points out of the midfield. Also providing veteran leadership up front is senior Lisa Collison (4g, 3a, 11p). Freshman of the Year candidate Alex Burzynski leads the team with five goals and scored the Buckeye goal against the Hoosiers. Defensively, sophomore keeper Lauren Robertson has a 1.13 goals against average on the year.
Purdue and Northwestern square off in the 2/7 match at 5 p.m. on Thursday, as the Boilermakers have the second-best win-loss record in the nation at 16-2-2. The Wildcats are back in the tournament for the second straight year, and are looking to play spoiler to PU. The Wildcats entered last season's tourney as the eighth seed, and took host PSU to the brink in a 3-2 contest. NU finished with a 4-4-2 conference mark, its best since going 5-4-1 in 2004. The regular season matchup between the Boilers and Wildcats was a lopsided, 5-0 victory for PU in West Lafayette, but NU rebounded to allow just one goal in its last six conference games.
The winner of that contest will face the better of Illinois-Minnesota, as the third seeded Illini face the hosts in the opening round. Since taking a pair of road losses, to Penn State and Ohio State, U of I has caught fire, ripping off a 6-1-1 mark with its only loss coming at Purdue. After a one-year absence, Minnesota returns to the Big Ten Tournament on the strength of a 5-5-0 conference mark, and was one win away from matching the 2005 squad's 6-4-0 finish. The Gophers were the lone squad to knock off Penn State in conference play, taking a 1-0, double overtime victory over the Lions. The Gophers were bested in the regular season matchup against Illinois, as the Illini took a 1-0 decision in Champaign, outshooting the Gophers 27-7.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 2006 TOURNAMENT
Host Penn State won the tourney crown, but it had to survive a furious effort from Northwestern in the first round before moving on to a pair of impressive victories over Michigan and Illinois in the semifinals and finals, respectively. The Illini worked their way to the finals match with shutout victories over Wisconsin (3-0) and Purdue (1-0) before falling 3-1 to the Lions. The Boilers had the most exciting first-round contest, taking a 2-1, overtime win over Ohio State.
The six come-from-behind wins are the most in Mick Lyon's tenure. Amazingly, in his previous five years at the helm of IUWS, Lyon had posted just five comeback victories. In fact, the Hoosiers have posted more wins in this fashion than any other team in the country. Only UTEP is currently within striking distance with five victories of this type, while James Madison and Santa Clara have four each.
A big part of IU's ability to come from behind has come from its increase in offense after halftime. The Hoosiers have outscored their opponents 18-12 in the second half and 3-0 in overtime for a 21-12 margin after the break. Yet, IU has only outshot its opponents by 24 in the second half and has allowed three more corners than it has taken.
Stewart, a business/accounting major from Bloomington, is a senior co-captain in her fourth year for the Hoosiers. The midfielder/defender has started every game for the Hoosiers this season and has led one of the youngest teams in the conference to a 12-4-2 record so far in 2007. Stewart has two assists to her credit this season and has two goals and three assists in her IU career.
Arnold is an education major from Beavercreek, Ohio, and is Indiana's leading scorer in her second season as a Hoosier. She has twice been named to the Soccer America and Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week. She earned her first Big Ten Player of the Week honor on Oct. 1 after scoring the sixth hat trick in IU history against Northwestern and following that with a pair of goals against Wisconsin. She added three of Indiana's five goals two weeks later when the Hoosiers topped Minnesota and Iowa.
Arnold has scored nine goals this season, tied for the fourth most in Indiana history, while her 20 points place her eighth on the single-season list. She has set school records for goals (8) and points (16) in Big Ten games this season and is third all-time in Big Ten goals scored with nine in her IU career.
The RPI is a formula that combines winning percentage, strength of schedule and opponents' strength of schedule. The rankings are one of the methods used by the NCAA committee to select the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament.
The Hoosiers are one of three Big Ten teams in the top 18, led by No. 1 Penn State and No. 13 Purdue. Ohio State (No. 36) and Illinois (No. 38) are both in the top 40 in the rankings, while Northwestern (No. 48) gave the Big Ten five teams in the top 50. Iowa (No. 64) and Minnesota (No. 76) are also in the top 100 from the conference.
All of Indiana's losses this season have come to top-flight teams, as all five are ranked 38th or higher. IU has also recorded a victory over No. 4 USC, the one of just two losses this season for the Women of Troy.
With a 2-1 win over Oakland on Sunday, Nov. 21, IU wrapped up the first undefeated season at home in program history. The 1998 squad came the closest, but wound up 8-1-0 after a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Missouri. Indiana tied in its home opener against Loyola Marymount in 2007 and ran off nine straight home wins to finish off the season.
IU has not had a losing record at Armstrong in Mick Lyon's tenure, as the coach is 34-11-4 there in his six-year career, including a 19-2-3 mark in his last 24 contests.
After scoring five goals against Northwestern and Wisconsin two weeks prior, Arnold lit up the scoreboard again against Minnesota and Iowa. The sophomore scored the first and fourth IU goals against Minnesota in a 4-2 victory, then notched her second overtime game winner of the season against Iowa, breaking a scoreless deadlock in the 98th minute. Against the Hawkeyes, she set a school record with 12 shots, which is tied for the fourth-most in Big Ten history.
The Beavercreek, Ohio, native had quite a weekend against NU and UW, netting her first career hat trick in a 4-3 victory over the Wildcats. Against Wisconsin, she completed her weekend with a pair of first-half goals to lead the Hoosiers to a 2-0 victory.
It marked the first hat trick for a Hoosier since teammate Lindsay McCarthy scored three against Oakland in her freshman season on Sept. 30, 2004. It was only the second IU hat trick in conference action, as Wendy Dillinger scored three against the Wildcats in IU's first-ever Big Ten game on Sept. 9, 1994. Arnold became just the second Hoosier to score five goals in two games, as Kim Grodek turned the trick in the first two contests of 2004.
Still, Indiana rebounded with a 2-1 win over Oakland on Sunday, Oct. 21, to help IU improve to 12-2-2 on the 2007 season. Despite the recent losing streak, the Hoosiers still sit at 12-5-2 on the season. The 12 wins for the Hoosiers are the most since the 1998 squad went 14-8-1. That season, IU earned its only at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and the only tourney victory in team history.
Indiana's 12 wins are tied for the second-most all-time, joining the inaugural 1993 team that went 12-6-0. The Hoosiers are gunning for a school record in winning percentage as well. The 1993 (.667) and 1998 (.630) are 1-2 in that category, while the 2007 Hoosiers are currently at .684.
With four goals against Minnesota on Oct. 12, IU netted four scores for the fourth time this season, having done so against Jacksonville, Evansville and Northwestern. The 1993 Hoosiers are the only other squad to have scored four or more goals in four different matches. IU's four goals against the Wildcats and Golden Gophers matched its record for Big Ten contests, as IU scored four goals against a conference opponent for the fourth and fifth times, respectively.
Indiana is placing itself with some of the best teams of all-time with its offensive output. The 1993 and 1998 squads hold the school record with 42 goals scored, though it took the inaugural team just 18 games to reach that mark. The 1998 squad needed 23 games to tally 42 goals. The 1993 team is the only squad in school history to average better than two goals per game. Those two, along with the 1996 (37) and 1997 (40) squads are the only teams to have scored more than the 2007 Hoosiers.
LIKE A BROKEN RECORD
The team's scoring output has led to several individuals taking aim at the single-season record book. Kristin Arnold is already in a tie for fourth with her nine goals on the season, while her 20 points are tied for eighth. Freshman Chloe McKay (6 assists) is only two shy of the school record, while Christie Kotynski is only four points away from reaching the top 10.
Arnold, who has already set IU's single-season record for goals in conference play, is amazingly tied for third in career Big Ten goals among Hoosiers with nine. Only Kim Grodek (12) and Kris Fosdick (10) are ahead of the sophomore.
When she tallied a pair of assists against Northwestern, McKay became the first IU player to notch more than one assist in a game since Megan Pipkens assisted on all three of Lindsay McCarthy's goals against Oakland on Sept. 30, 2004.
The Suffield, Conn., native leads the Hoosiers with six assists on the season. The left-footed shooter has become a fixture on set pieces this season. Wendy Dillinger (1993 and 1997) and Carrie Watts (1998) hold the school record with eight assists in a season.
McKay, who set school and conference records with 109 goals and 89 assists for Suffield High, has made 17 starts in the midfield this year. She is third on the team with 12 points on the season.
A FRESH LOOK
With a 1-0 win over Iowa on Oct. 12, Hollandsworth picked up her fifth shutout of the season and her 11th win. Each of those totals mark the top numbers by a freshman keeper in school history. The Chesapeake, Va., native has a 1.36 goals against average and five shutouts this season.
A LITTLE ENGLISH
McKay's goal, the second of her career, marked the fastest goal by an IU player since 1999, when Kristen Sprunger scored at the 1:28 mark against Notre Dame in the season finale on Oct. 31. Coincidentally, Sprunger's goal was also her second of the season and second of her career. But unlike McKay, Sprunger's strike came in the 19th game of the season as opposed to the sixth.
USING HER HEAD
Kotynski started the week off with a crucial second-half goal against Butler on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The tally, which came off a corner, turned momentum in the Hoosiers' favor and propelled them to a 2-1 victory over the Bulldogs. On Sunday, Oct. 23, Kotynski one-upped herself with two goals and an assist in IU's 4-0 victory over the Evansville. Kotynski is second on the team in goals (5), assists (5) and points (15) this year.
During the 2006 season, Kotynski finished tied for the team lead with four goals, and was named second team All-Big Ten and to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. She was named All-Great Lakes Region and a Freshman All-American by Soccer Buzz.
O CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
McCarthy has scored all of her four goals and 10 points in Big Ten play, including the game-winner at Michigan State and the only goal in a 1-1 tie against Michigan. That performance earned the senior her first Big Ten Player of the Week award on Oct. 8. The Galloway, N.J., native has 12 goals in her career, good for ninth place on IU's all-time list. On Sept. 30, 2004, she became the fifth player in school history to record a hat trick, doing so against Oakland.
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