BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s soccer head coach Erwin van Bennekom announced the Fall 2021 schedule on Monday morning. The Hoosiers will play a total of 20 games with matchups against five 2020-21 NCAA tournament teams and five teams that were ranked or received votes in last season’s final United Soccer Coaches Poll.
“We are very excited to return to a full schedule and play in front of fans again,” van Bennekom said. “Our program’s main goal is to take the next step forward, and we feel that this schedule can be a tool in achieving that goal. We can’t wait to get started!”
Before the start of the season, the Hoosiers will play a couple of exhibition matches. Indiana will travel to Louisville (Aug. 8) for its first exhibition game followed by a match at Bill Armstrong Stadium against Akron (Aug. 12).
Indiana women’s soccer will face eight non-conference opponents in the regular season. The Hoosiers open up their Fall 2021 campaign against Valparaiso (Aug. 19) on Thursday in Bloomington, Ind.
IU will head to South Bend, Ind. on Sunday afternoon to battle Notre Dame (Aug. 22). The Fighting Irish went 6-7 overall in conference play, facing four ranked opponents in the ACC. The Hoosiers then return home to face UT-Martin (Aug. 26) on Thursday night. IU will head down south for a match versus Memphis (Aug. 29) to complete the month of August. The Tigers went 8-4 overall, 6-1 in conference play and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last season.
The Hoosiers will conclude the home portion of non-conference play with a three game homestand starting with Western Michigan (Sept. 2) on Thursday night followed by Southeastern Missouri State (Sept. 5) and Murray State (Sept. 9).
Indiana will finish out the non-conference slate with a trip to Kansas State (Sept. 12) on Sunday night.
The following week Big Ten conference play begins for the Hoosiers with another three-game homestand at Bill Armstrong Stadium. First up, IU will host Michigan State (Sept. 19) on Sunday afternoon, followed by Iowa (Sept. 23) who claimed the Big Ten Title last season and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA tournament. Indiana closes out the homestand on Sunday afternoon against Illinois (Sept. 26). The Hoosiers will then head to Columbus to battle the Ohio State Buckeyes (Sept. 30) on Thursday night.
In October, IU will face-off against Michigan (Oct. 3) at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Indiana will begin its first long road trip of the season with three opponents. The cream and crimson will face-off against Northwestern (Oct. 9/10), Penn State (Oct. 14) and Maryland (Oct. 17). The Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinals in the Big Ten Tournament with a 6-6-1 record. The Nittany Lions posted a 12-3-1 record and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament where they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
Indiana will return home for its final home match of the season against Rutgers (Oct. 21) who earned a bid into the NCAA tournament for the ninth straight year.
The 2021 regular season will end with a battle for the golden boot against in-state rival Purdue (Oct. 25) in West Lafayette, Ind.
Indiana will host five conference rivals starting with Michigan State (Sept. 19) followed by Iowa (Sept. 23), Illinois (Sept. 26), Michigan (Oct. 3) and Rutgers (Oct. 21).
The Hoosiers will travel to Ohio State (Sept. 30), Northwestern (Oct. 9/10), Penn State (Oct. 14), Maryland (Oct. 17), and Purdue (Oct. 24).
The Big Ten Tournament will be held from Oct. 27-31. It will return back to the normal format with the top eight teams advancing.