The Illinois State soccer squad continued its momentum into conference play over the weekend.
After sealing head coach Drew Roffs 100th career win at home last week against IPFW, the Redbirds traveled to Indiana State for their first of six games against MVC opponents to close out the season.
With the game tied at 1-1 through the 62nd minute, senior Allie Newsom shot what would be the game winner Friday night at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Ind. Roff said that an attack from the midfield was key in the victory Friday night.
They were really dropping off and putting a lot of numbers around Rachel Tejada, Roff said. It was important that one of our midfielders step up and hit one from distance. Usually its probably more of an attacking-type midfielder, but Allie is dangerous. She had a clean touch, so she brought the ball down and hammered a great goal.
Newsoms big goal set up when the ball was worked into the left side and found Dagny Olson. Olson slid the ball to Newsom, who fired from four yards past the 18. The shot bounced off of Indiana State keeper Abby Keller and into the back of the net. This marks Newsoms second goal of the season, the first of which was also a game winner after she sealed the victory against No. 22 Marquette on Sept. 15. Olson recorded her second assist with the set up.
Freshman forward Hannah Leinert also recorded a goal in the match, striking in the 12th minute to give the Birds an early lead. Sara Stankoskey came from the right side and played a ball into the box, which Leinert headed in for the score. This makes for Leinerts fifth goal on the season, while Stankoskey recorded her first career point.
Indiana State found revenge less than five minutes later, when Abby Reed scored unassisted in the 16th minute. The rest of the first period remained scoreless before Reed came out in force during the second half. Reed first beat Aryn Newsom in a one-on-one opportunity in the games 49th minute, but the shot deflected off the post. Newsom then stopped Reed one-on-one again, to keep the game tied at one and sow the seeds for her twin sisters game winner. Illinois State took their second-lowest number of shots all season with six, while Indiana State
[Indiana State] was dangerous on the counterattack. Thats obviously something that they have worked on and it was dangerous, Roff said. They made a nice diagonal run across and caught us, and beat the keeper. Fortunately, luck was on our side when it came to the post. I thought Aryn made a couple of really nice saves and we did enough. Aside from the counterattacks, we kept the ball in check.
It definitely was not a work of art, but our team was gritty, Roff said. We hung in there, and we played some of our better soccer towards the end of the game. We did what we had to do, and any time you can get a win on the road in the Valley, you have to feel good about it.
MVC play continues next Sunday when the Birds host Loyola at Adelaide Street Field.