Number four seeded Indiana women's soccer heads to University Park, Pa. for a match with the number one seeded No. 6 Nittany Lions in the Big Ten Regional Weekend finals. The game will take place at Jeffrey Field with the teams set to take the pitch at 2 p.m. ET. on Big Ten Network.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
No. 6 Penn State (9-1-1) closed out the regular-season with a 3-0 win over Nebraska to clinch the Big Ten championship title for the second consecutive season. The win over Nebraska extended the Nittany Lions winning streak to five. Redshirt sophomore Ally Schlegel leads the Big Ten and the Nittany Lions' attack with nine goals along with five assists this season. Senior Frankie Tagliaferri leads the Big Ten with nine assists while contributing six goals. Goalkeeper Katherine Asman ranks second in the Big Ten in saves (.833) with a total of 40 saves this the season.
Penn State leads the series 26-1-2. In the regular-season, Indiana fell to the Nittany Lions, 2-1, at Jeffrey Field in University Park, Pa. The Hoosiers are looking for its first win since November 8, 1996.
LAST TIME OUT
The Hoosiers were scheduled to play Michigan on Friday, April 9, but the match was deemed no contest due to COVID-19 issues within the Wolverines Program. Indiana wrapped up its 2021 spring season at Purdue where the in-state rivals battled 110 minutes before coming to a 0-0 draw at Folk Field on Sunday. Anna Bennett looked to strike first in the fourth minute, but it went wide. Sophomore Avery Lockwood had an on target shot in the 42nd minute, but Purdue's goalie was there for the save. Senior Melanie Forbes saw a great opportunity in the 105th minute but it went wide. Senior Hanna Nemeth had the best chance with under a minute left in double-overtime, but the keeper pounced on the ball to keep the game scoreless.
NEW HOOSIERS HAVE IMMEDIATE IMPACT
•Indiana women's soccer welcomed six new freshmen to Hoosier Nation. Four freshmen earned starts in the first five games of the season - Anna Aehling, Anna Bennett, Gabi Rennie and Jen Blitchok. Sofia Black and Zoe Tiger have also provided great minutes off the bench for the Hoosiers.
•Bennett and Aehling are the only two freshmen who have started in all nine of IU's games this season.
•The freshmen love to share the ball as three Hoosiers Bennett (2), Aehling (1), Rennie (1), Blitchok (1) totaled seven of Indiana's eight assists to earn their first career points.
FRESHMEN FIND THE NET
•Gabi Rennie scored her first collegiate goal in victory over the Spartans on Wednesday, March 31.
•Sofia Black scored her first collegiate goal in the 2-0 win against Michigan. Classmate Bennett scored the gamewinner against Wisconsin for her first career goal.
•Freshman forward Jen Blitchok recorded her first points after netting a brace in Indiana's 3-2 victory over Maryland on March 7. She is the second Hoosier to earn a brace this season. Senior Melanie Forbes also scored a pair of goals against Iowa on Feb. 28.
NEWS AND NOTES
•Indiana wrapped up the regular-season with a 6-4-1 record, its best finish since 2013. This is the most B1G points in program history (19).
•IU earned its sixth conference win with a 2-1 victory over Michigan State to tie the program record for most conference wins since 1998 and 2013.
•Indiana achieved its first five conference win season since 2013 when the Hoosiers went 6-5-0 in conference play. This is also a new record of conference wins under head coach Erwin van Bennekom after the Hoosiers went 4-5-2 in his first season in 2019.
•The Hoosiers defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor for the second time in program history and the first time since 2006.
•Indiana earned its fourth shutout this season against Michigan on Sunday, March 28.
•Eight different Hoosiers have recorded a point along with five assists on eight goals.
•Senior goalkeeper Bethany Kopel has earned five victories this season along with four shutouts. She ties first along with two others (Shannon Flower, Ashley Davis) for most conference wins in a single season for Indiana. Kopel ranks second with 26 and counting for most career victories in the Indiana women's soccer program. She also holds Indiana's program record for career shutouts with 21. She also holds the record for most shutouts in a season with nine.
• Kopel recorded a new season high of seven saves against Ohio State.