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Tuesday, Oct. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


Recruits exceed expectations

When field hockey coach Amy Robertson completed her recruiting for this season, she had high expectations of her incoming players. Fueled by the excellent play for freshmen Kayla Bashore, Katie Kanara, Kim Nash and Ryan Woolsey, Robertson's freshmen class has surprised even her.\n"Right now, the level of play that the freshmen are demonstrating is above any that I have witnessed in any other program," she said. \nNow in their second year as a varsity sport, Robertson said being a new program is not easy because her coaching staff is forced to push players even harder for the team to improve.\n"For such a young team, we have thrown out expectations that are very high, and that's because in growing and building a program, we have to push our development along faster than most programs do," Robertson said.\nBut she said she is satisfied with the way the freshmen have responded to the pressure.\n"They are really starting to play like veterans," she said. "That's because it has been demanded and expected. They have come out and performed and committed themselves to the program the way that I expected, and even surpassed those expectations."\nAlthough Bashore, Kanara, Nash and Woolsey have shined so far this season, they are complemented by eight other freshmen players. Lindsey Nealis, Caroline Hermes, Jessica Barton, Lauren Brophy, Brooke Evans, Margaret Dunne and Jamie Baldwin round out the rest of the Hoosier freshmen class. Twelve of IU's 23 players are freshmen.\nSenior co-captain Akila Jones said she is also pleased to see the freshmen succeed and says that the team is working toward the same goal whether it is an upperclassmen or a freshman who gets them there.\n"We have a lot of freshmen, but you can't tell because it is such a young team that pretty much everyone is on the same level," Jones said. "So if someone on the team scores, it energizes the team regardless of their class level."\nRobertson notes that this freshmen class has brought something last year's team lacked.\n"Their play has definitely given us an air of competition that did not exist on the team last year," Robertson said. "Fortunately it has not come in the form of jealousy, instead I think everyone is eager to see this team get better and this class has increased our ability to compete."\nIn eight games, Woolsey has tallied two goals and two assists while Bashore has added two goals and one assist. Nash is the team leader in points and goals scored with six and three respectively. Meanwhile, Kanara has stopped 54 shots in net for the Hoosiers and secured the win in the team's first Division I victory over Ball State last week.\nWoolsey credits the upperclassmen in helping her handle the transition to college field hockey and with her early success. She also believes the competition within the freshmen class pushes the players.\n"The older kids on the team explain everything well," she said. "With every game we are getting better and better I think. It's good to have the competition, it gives us the incentive to try that much harder to get the goal."\nBashore said the freshmen feed off of each other and try to keep improving as a group.\n"We work really well together and if one of us goes down the others can pick them up," she said\nBashore also hopes that in the future their chemistry will allow them to play well with each other and give them an advantage over other teams.\n"We are lucky, because other teams only bring in five or six freshmen, but here there is a whole new team of freshmen and we will be together all four years," Bashore said. "Hopefully when we are juniors and seniors we will have been playing together for a long time and can play really well together"

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