In an attempt to finish out conference play on a high note, the No. 14 IU water polo team will travel on the road for the final time this season. The Hoosiers will compete in four games this weekend when they travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on Brown, St. Francis (Pa.), No. 20 Harvard, and No. 18 Hartwick.
IU is coming off a weekend in New York where the Hoosiers finished 2-1 with IU's only loss coming to then-No. 10 Princeton.
As conference play closes out and the postseason tournament starts to draw nearer, IU Coach Ryan Castle said he doesn’t want to change anything that the team has been working on all year due to maintaining consistency.
“I’m looking for us to execute stuff that we’ve been working on,” Castle said. “I’ve said it all season long, and our mentality hasn’t changed. It’s going to be a challenge this weekend.”
The Hoosiers will face Brown for the second time this season. The Hoosiers came out on top in their first meeting with the Bears in an exhibition game, 9-5, at the Bruno Classic. Junior attackers Jennifer Beadle and Sarah Myers led the way with both managing to score hat tricks, and the Hoosiers never trailed at any point in the game.
A matchup with Harvard looms over the weekend, and the Hoosiers had trouble against another Ivy League team last weekend as well. IU will try to come out on top this time around, but it won’t be an easy task.
“Brown is going to challenge us once again, and Harvard is a really good team,” Castle said. “Their driving game is good, so we’re going to have to try and stop that this weekend.”
Harvard is led by a three-headed attacking force. Kristen Hong, Michelle Martinelli and Sofia Carrera-Justiz lead the team in scoring with 112 goals combined.
Castle said in order for the team to be successful this weekend every player will have to step up and do her part.
“Every single one of us has to step up this weekend,” he said. “I would like to see some productivity out of our core group and starters so that the bench can feed off of their success.”
Entering the final weekend of Collegiate Water Polo Association play the Hoosiers stand in third place behind Michigan and Hartwick. The final game of the weekend will feature IU against Hartwick. Both teams will look to cap off their conference season with a win, and it won’t be an easy task to do.
Castle said his team’s focus has been working on improving themselves, staying healthy and remaining disciplined as the last weekend of conference play draws nearer.
“My practices are now about discipline and stressing the importance of sticking to the game plan,” Castle said. “I’m stubborn, and I want my team to be stubborn, too, because it means that we don’t have to change things deep into the season. If you have to change things at this point then that means you aren’t confident in your abilities.”
This will be IU’s last true road trip of the season. They will return to Bloomington next week for Senior Night, and then they will be host to the CWPA tournament followed by the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis in May.
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