Women's soccer's highest Horizon League finish in history

IUPUI’s women’s soccer team has finished their regular season with a record of 11-3-5, going 5-1-4 in conference games.

The Jaguars have finished in second place for the Horizon League regular season, behind Milwaukee by five points. This is the highest the Jaguars have placed while being in the Horizon League. 

In the final two conference games of the season, the Jaguars shut out Robert Morris 1-0, where sophomore Cailynn Junk recorded four saves, and Purdue Fort Wayne 2-0, with six saves by Junk. After both of those games, Junk won back-to-back Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week awards. 

IUPUI finished the season with 33 goals and nine shutouts. The two goalies, junior Ashton Kudlo and Junk combined for nine clean sheet games. Leading in goals for the team was freshman forward Caroline Kelley with eight, senior forward Sam Slimak with six and senior forward Emma Antoine with five. IUPUI also recorded 32 assists, Antoine leading with 10 and senior Leah Shumate following behind with five. 

When reflecting on the final games of the season, Slimak had nothing but positive things to say. 

“I feel awesome and so proud of how hard everyone played this season and how we finished second,” Slimak said. 

With a successful season came many regular season awards. Head Coach Chris Johnson won the Horizon League Coach of the Year. Antoine, Slimak and sophomore Kailyn Smith were awarded Horizon League First Team All-League. Freshmen Emily Tobin, Katie Hoog and Kelley all were awarded Horizon League All-Freshman Team,” with Kelley winning Horizon League Freshman of the Year. Off the field, Slimak was also awarded the Horizon League All Academic Team award. 

Slimak praised her team when asked about how it feels to see all the regular season awards they were given. 

“It is truly so exciting to see all the awards players, and our coach, got this season. It’s a testament to how hard each of them worked this season on and off the field,” Slimak said. “I think every one of my teammates has such a special role on our team that makes such a positive impact on the success as a whole. I’m very thankful for having such a supportive coach and coaching staff as well.” 

The Jaguars lost to Northern Kentucky in double overtime during the Horizon League semifinals 1-1, losing 4-3 in penalty kicks. 

With the semifinal game being her last game in an IUPUI uniform. Slimak shared her overall thoughts on the season, especially since it is her last. 

“I feel such thankfulness and happiness as I look back on our season. It was my favorite season so far here at IUPUI because of the pure joy of playing the sport we love with the people we love. I thank God daily for our ability to train and compete and for the chance to build strong lifetime friendships along the way,” Slimak said. 

Kenzie Pittenger is a senior majoring in Sport Management with a certificate in Journalism. In her free time, Kenzie enjoys working for the Pacers and Fever while keeping up with Women’s College Basketball.

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