Aug. 28—Indiana State, by finishing with a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at Eastern Illinois, joins a unique category of collegiate women's soccer teams.
The Sycamores now have a 0-0-4 season record, as one of only two NCAA Division I programs to start the 2023 year with four tie scores. The Sycamores are joined by Denver at 0-0-4. Pepperdine started 0-0-3, but then beat Cal State Northridge 2-0 on Sunday night to fall out of that unusual, unbeaten group.
For ISU on Sunday at Charleston, Ill., Maddie Helling's first collegiate goal helped the Sycamores get the 1-1 finish at Eastern Illinois at Lakeside Stadium.
Indiana State may have delivered its most complete offensive effort to date with 15 shots with six on target in the nonconference matchup, according to a news release from ISU sports information. Helling put two on net, including her goal. Brooklyn Woods added three shots on free kicks in the match as ISU battled back after surrendering an early goal to the Panthers (1-2-1).
Eastern Illinois took the early lead in the 10th minute of the match as Serra Pizano connected on a shot from inside the box, slipping it into the lower left corner of the net past a diving Maddie Alexander to give EIU the 1-0 advantage.
ISU finally struck in the 33rd minute as Alexa Mackey collected a free ball and took it up the right sideline. Her cross into the box deflected off Helling and split the defenders in front of the net. Helling beat EIU keeper Lexi Prusow to the ball and chipped it into the goal from five yards out to even the match at 1-1.
ISU posted a season-high 15 shots in the match and forced 14 EIU fouls in the contest. The Sycamores held nearly 73 percent of their possession in Panther territory in the tie.
ISU has allowed just two goals in 2023 continuing the best defensive start in program history. ISU had previously never allowed fewer than four goals over the first four games dating back to the 2010 season.
Indiana State continues its three-match road trip this week facing Robert Morris at 4 p.m. Thursday in Moon Township, Pa., at the North Athletic Complex.