IU women’s soccer vs. DePaul

DePaul makes a strong push in the final 10 minutes with a dangerous cross in front of goal with over 10 minutes left and a shot by Ashleigh Goddard in on the left side of the box saved by Shannon Flower with one hand diving left with under 4 minutes left. From there, Indiana pretty much ran out the clock to advance to a showdown with defending champ North Carolina next Friday. HOOSIERS 1, BLUE DEMONS 0

76th minute: Indiana finally gets the pay off for the constant pressure, a corner kick is initially cleared but then sent back in and Veronica Ellis knocks it home off her knee for her third goal of the season and potentially her third game-winner. HOOSIERS 1, BLUE DEMONS 0

17:40: DePaul has seen very little of the ball and been under a lot of pressure. But the patient, collapsing defense has held up thus far. Indiana got a strong shot from the left side of the box by Lisa Nouanesengsy saved, and Rebecca Candler had a cross from the end line just miss two Hoosiers at the far post. The only other good chance was a ball over the top by Jordan Woolums for Kayleigh Steigerwalt, who mishandled the pass. HOOSIERS 0, BLUE DEMONS 0

DePaul got back in the game during the final 10 minutes, which featured some pretty good end to end action. The Blue Demons had their one scoring chance off a free kick with eight minutes left in the half, a volley in the box by Erin Pekovitch was deflected wide on a superb diving save by IU goalkeeper Shannon Flower. That was DePaul’s only shot of the half. Indiana had eight shot attempts, five on goal.

DePaul’s offense seems geared toward dumping the ball toward the corner and trying to get off a cross or earn a corner kick, while Indiana has played much more direct to this point, attacking down the middle of the pitch. IU might have found something with Lisa Nouanesengsy out wide late in the half. She has the quickness to create problems for a Blue Demon defense that has allowed just 14 goals all season. HOOSIERS 0, BLUE DEMONS 0

18:55: It took the better part of the first 10 minutes for Indiana to settle in, as expected for a first-time tournament team. Since that time, it’s been almost all Hoosiers. The best chance to get on the board was a line drive shot by Monica Melink form the top of the box in the 9th minute that cracked off the crossbar but bounced out just enough to deny IU a goal. In all, Indiana with a 6-0 edge in shots. Each team with one corner kick. HOOSIERS 0, BLUE DEMONS 0

The Indiana women’s soccer team reaps the benefits of a season-long turnaround when it hosts DePaul tonight in a first-round NCAA Tournament game at Armstrong Stadium. The Hoosiers (14-6-1) have tied the school record with 14 wins and would set a new mark with a win tonight over the Blue Demons (13-5-2).

Also of note, first-year coach Amy Berbary and staff are just the fourth in Big Ten women’s soccer history to take a team to the NCAA Tournament in their first year with that team. The others were Dean Duerst (Wisconsin, 1994), Paula Wilkins (Penn State, 2001) and Erica Walsh (Penn State, 2007). Each of those other coaches inherited a team that had advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament the previous year. The Hoosiers did not even make the Big Ten Tournament last year.

I expect these two teams to be evenly matched, but give IU the edge with a 9-1 record at home this season. Updates to follow here and via Twitter.