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Indiana's women's soccer begins conference play with a scoreless draw against No. 8 Pennsylvania State.

Penn State held the all-time record of 28 wins, 1 loss, and 2 in Indiana women’s soccer, including a five-game winning streak since 2018. come.

But eight saves from sophomore goaltender Jamie Gerstenberg and a solid performance from the Hoosiers backline gave Indiana its sixth scoreless draw of the season. Focusing on the underclassmen, it was fair to question how calm the Hoosiers were against their highly talented conference opponents.

However, after scoring a point, head coach Erwin van Venekom praised his young group’s efforts.

“I think it says a lot that so many freshmen and sophomores played meaningfully,” said Van Venekom after the game. I have a lot to learn this season, but I think the future is bright.”

The Hoosiers came out of the gate firing. With energy and urgency on offense, Indiana held the ball almost entirely in Penn State’s half for his first 15–20 minutes of play.

Freshman defender Natasha Kim was a particularly bright spot on the right side of the field. With a solid on-ball defense, sharp passing from behind, and a knack for opportunistic positioning, Kim was able to assist the Hoosiers with multiple threatening offenses early on.

As the game progressed, the Hoosiers moved away from their heels and played on their front feet, in contrast to previous contests. In the 54th minute, after Kim’s curling left-footed shot went outside the post, sophomore forward Jordan Levy continued the pressure with a near-miss header near the six-yard box.


Indiana defender Natasha Kim runs in a scoreless draw with No. 8 Penn State on Sept. 18. (HN photo/Eden Snower)

Juan Venekom was thrilled with the team’s efforts in the first half of play and credited his assistant for an intensive scouting report on the Nittany Lions.

“I think we scouted them well, thanks to the staff doing a great job,” said van Bennekom. “We’re figuring out how to defend, how to press and confuse them, and we did that in the first half. We did exactly what we wanted.”

In previous games, the team’s fate seemed entirely dependent on Gerstenberg’s heroism. But on Sunday, the Hoosiers’ backline often thwarted promising offenses before turning them into dangerous chances.

Gerstenberg had eight saves and two critical deflections in the second half of the game, but van Venekom noted that the team improved overall.

“I think the defense could have been better. The whole team, especially the way they set up in the first half, were much better than us,” said Van Venekom. “Her reliance on Jamie was a little less, but she still made some key saves to keep us in the game.”


Indiana players, including midfielder Sidney Masur, come off the pitch after a scoreless draw against No. 8 Penn State on Sept. 18. (HN photo/Eden Snower)

The Hoosiers’ other five scoreless draws showed their offensive struggles. The team challenged a combination of building from the back and combinations in the attacking third, creating far too few chances overall.

Disrupting Pennsylvania’s eighth-ranked Top 10 team and pulling away with a near victory feels like a better outcome for van Bennekom.

“After the game, I told the team that the story would be a little different, especially if we didn’t draw 0-0,” said Juan Venekom. “I told them to look at this separately. In the big plan, it’s still another draw and we have to get some wins, but we have a lot of constructs that we can use going forward.”

Next, the Hoosiers travel to Minneapolis on Thursday to face Minnesota at 7 p.m. The match he will be broadcast on BTN+.


Indiana State head coach Erwin van Venekom stands with his team after a scoreless draw against Penn State 8th on Sept. 18. (HN photo/Eden Snower)