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Tuesday, Oct. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


Must win for Big Ten berth

Hoosiers need victory against Purdue for conference tournament appearance

The women's soccer team is in the midst of a four-game losing streak, including losing two pivotal games last weekend at home. All the negative feelings from the losses can be erased with a victory at 7 p.m. tonight against Purdue at Bill Armstrong Stadium. A win would give the Hoosiers (6-6-1, 3-5-1) a berth in the Big Ten tournament, which would be a great accomplishment after going 1-8-1 in the conference last season.\nThe weekend is very important for the Hoosiers. In addition to playing the Boilermakers, the team also plays host to in-state rival Indiana State on Sunday in a non-conference game. \n"Friday night is a must win for us," senior co-captain Kelly Kram said. "Sunday is not as important, but is also a big priority for us to win. We need to go out there and take care of some business. This is not about a rivalry, it's about placement in the Big Ten tournament."\nWith a victory Friday night, IU will be lined up for a fourth seed in the tournament, clinching a postseason berth. \nJunior midfielder and back Dana Philip said the team hasn't lost its focus, but has lost something. \n"We are lacking something, but we're not sure what it is," Philp said. "We need to get it back this weekend."\nCoach Joe Kelley is optimistic about IU's chances. \n"You learn things from winning. If you can learn things from losing, then it's not truly a loss," Kelley said. "The team has changed its approach and attitude. We are a young team. Hardening of a personality is a learned phenomenon, and we have a harder personality from the beginning of the year."\nThe IU-Purdue rivalry is a new one to the women's soccer team. This is the third time the two schools have met, with IU winning 1-0 in 1999 and Purdue returning the favor with a 1-0 victory in West Lafayette last season.\n"We have had a great week at practice," Kelley said. "We have really improved psychologically and physically. This is an in-state weekend, which adds to the whole scene. It's Purdue. It's the rivalry. Anybody associated with IU knows that it's Purdue, the enemy."\nAs far as playing Indiana State, Kelley said it is a game on which IU has to stay focused. \n"They are a challenge," Kelley said. "We have gone six weeks playing just Big Ten teams, with no break. They might not be a conference opponent, but they are capable. We need to play every game at an intense, high level and respect our opponents and respect ourselves."\nKram said the team is ready to snap out of its losing streak. \n"We have continued to work hard," Kram said. "We learned that we can have a few letdowns like we did last weekend and bounce back. We need to come out Friday and play like we did against Notre Dame and the first half against Penn State earlier in the season."\nKelley isn't worried about his team's recent offensive and defensive struggles.\n"We need to go out and play. It seems redundant, but that is what we need," Kelley said. "These last few days have been the best days of practice we have had all season. Our offense is coming together, and the defense is getting strong again"

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