The early season woes continued for the Eastern Michigan University women’s soccer team, as they dropped third consecutive match, losing 1-0 to the Indiana University Hoosiers at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. on Fri. Sept. 6.
This was the first game of the season the Eagles failed to score a goal. Hoosiers sophomore midfielder Jessie Bujouves broke the scoreless tie in the 50th minute, heading in a corner kick delivered by fellow sophomore midfielder Kayleigh Steigerwalt.
Eastern (1-3-0) was dominated in chances by Indiana (4-0-1), being out shot 25-11 in total shots and 6-4 in shots on goal.
Eagles sophomore goalkeeper Megan McCabe played well, stopping five shots in the loss. Junior forward Angela Vultaggio lead the Eagles in chances with four shots and two on target, while fellow junior forward Bianca Rossi and senior midfielder Cara Cutaia each added a shot on net.
“All the credit to Indiana, they just wanted more than we did,” EMU head coach Scott Hall said about his team’s loss. “We didn’t come out with the energy that we had in the first three games. Couple that with how we weren’t very sharp, it just wasn’t a very good day for us.”
For the Hoosiers, senior goalkeeper Shannon Flower continued her early season success, recording her fourth shutout of the season. The Columbus, Ohio native has only allowed one goal in five games.
The game started fast and furious for IU, as they ripped the first five shots of the contest in the first seven minutes. But the Eagles responded with two quality chances by Vultaggio in the ninth and 13th minutes, each saved by Flower, leading to the first two corner kicks for EMU.
The offense settled down from that point until 24 minute mark, when the Hoosiers ramped up the pressure again, out shooting the Eagles 7-1 in the last 26 minutes, including a shot in the 40th minute that forced McCabe to come up with a timely save. But the EMU defense held strong and the game went to the half scoreless.
“(Shots) aren’t something we really focus on,” Hall said about his team getting outshot 14-5 in the first half. “I look at more quality chances and thought that we had some with Angela Vultaggio getting behind the defense.”
The Eagles grabbed the first opportunity in the second half, but Vultaggio’s shot went astray to the right of the goalkeeper.
In the 50th minute, pressure from the IU offense forced the Eastern defense into a clearance, earning the Hoosiers a corner kick. Steigerwalt took the corner and sent a looping ball into the EMU box, which found the head of Bujouves, who was able to put it past McCabe to give the first goal of the game to Indiana.
The Eagles pressured to get back into the game in the ten minutes following the IU goal, with Cutaia and senior Stephanie Clarke having shots blocked by the Hoosiers defense. Cutaia added another chance in the 60th minute, but Flower stood strong to stop the shot and the Indiana defense stalled the EMU momentum.
The Indiana offense began to pressure the Eagles defense again, but McCabe made two big saves, one in the 65th and one in the 75th, to keep EMU in the game.
“Of all the players on the team, I thought she was our best player,” Hall said of his goalkeeper McCabe. “She’s still confident. She still works hard everyday, trains hard every day, so I’m not worried about her play.”
But the Eastern offense was unable to break the IU defense, and after Flower stopped a Rossi shot in the 77th minute, Indiana took control of the rest of the game by not allowing another EMU shot and cruised to the 1-0 victory.
The EMU Eagles finish their four game road trip in Indianapolis, IN with a match against Butler University on Sept. 8, before returning home to Scicluna Field on Sept. 15 to face the Michigan State University Spartans.
Follow me on Twitter: @JdyeEMUEcho.
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