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Class of '66 Old Fart

IUWS vs Michigan (B1G Tour.) - 4/8/21 @ 6:00 on BTN+

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Number four seeded Indiana women's soccer heads to University Park, Pa. for a match with number five seeded Michigan on Thursday, April 8. The game will be at top-seeded Penn State's Jeffery Field with the teams set to take the pitch at 6 p.m. ET. on Big Ten Network Plus.

Michigan (5-3-3) is concluded its regular-season with a double-overtime, 1-1 draw against Rutgers on Saturday. Senior Nicki Hernandez scored the lone for the Wolverines. Hernandez leads the attack with six goals.  Senior goalkeeper recorded 11 saves against the Scarlett Knights. She ranks second in the Big Ten in saves per game (4.73) with 52 saves on the season.

Michigan leads the series 17-6-4. Indiana defeated the Wolverines 2-0 for the first time since 2006 at U-M Stadium.

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 Németh had the best chance with under a minute left in double-overtime, but the keeper pounced on the ball to keep the game scoreless.


•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.

•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.


•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.

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The rescheduled Big Ten Regional Weekend match on Friday between Indiana and Michigan has been deemed no-contest as mutually agreed upon by both teams due to health and safety concerns in the Michigan program. The decision was made out of an abundance of caution for both teams involved at after consultation with medical experts.
Indiana will advance to play Penn State at Jeffrey Field in University Park, Pa. The match will kick off at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. It will be televised on Big Ten Network and will be available on the FOX Sports app.
The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the 2021 Big Ten Tournament that I scheduled for April 15-18.

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