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Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

UNI chops down Sycamores

Panther women’s soccer team secures victory against Indiana State, 2-0
UNI defeated the Sycamores 2-0, continuing their incredible season.

The UNI women’s soccer team looked to begin October in the same spirited fashion as they started the year: on top. The Panthers did just that as they shut out Indiana State 2-0. The shutout marked the third in a row for UNI. 

Sunday notched the tenth victory of the 2023 season for the Panthers, which is tied for the second highest win total in UNI history. The 2023 squad is tied with the 2003 team, who finished with ten wins, and is four games behind the 2017 team that currently holds a team-program best 14 wins. With six games left on the schedule, the Panthers have a chance at history. 

The victory also marked a historic milestone for head coach Bruce Erickson who picked up his 300th career win at the collegiate level. This significant achievement includes wins throughout his time at Viterbo, Creighton, and Wayne State (Nebraska). 

Erickson thoroughly enjoyed the team’s performance stating, “Our players really battled and found solutions to the game.” He went on to add, “[There were a] couple of great goals and a couple more cleared off the line. Sound defensive performance today, getting another shutout.” 

The Panthers came out to start the game on fire, yet couldn’t muster any goals for their effort. UNI outshot the Sycamores 12-4, and almost connected on an early goal that just barely went over the top crossbar from Maddie Eastus. 

The Panthers ultimately could not get past Indiana State’s back line in the opening half which resulted in a halftime tie. 

Coming out of the break, the Sycamores were on the attack early, though they never found the back of the net. In the 60th minute the scoreless game changed tides in favor of UNI as Olivia Knoepfle grabbed the loose ball and crossed it towards Lauren Heinsch, who shot the ball into the top corner of the goal. Giving UNI a 1-0 lead, and Heinsch’s 18th goal of her career. 

The Panthers kept the attack on as they scored again just ten minutes later. UNI had a corner kick coming from Marissa Gross that crossed into the box. Allison Groothuis directed the ball into the back of the net to give the Panthers a commanding 2-0 lead. The goal was Groothuis’ first of the season. 

Knoepfle nearly gave UNI a 3-0 lead a few minutes later as she fired a shot past Indiana State’s goalie, but a Sycamore defender slid in and deflected the shot away. The remainder of the game brought forth no goals, resulting in a 2-0 victory for UNI.

The Panther defense shined throughout the game, only giving up four shots, and did not allow a single shot on record for the second half. Over the last two games UNI has only given up seven total shots, and look to continue this defensive streak next week. 

UNI will travel for a two-game road stretch beginning on Thursday, Oct. 5 against Murray State in Kentucky. It will be their first match at Murray State in program history. The game will kick off at 3 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+. 

The Panthers will then go to Tennessee and take on the Belmont Bruins in Nashville on Sunday, Oct. 8. The game will start at 2 p.m. and will also stream on ESPN+.

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