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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Goalie switches sports, makes mark

When junior goalie Molly Pulkrabek came to IU she expected to be in the net for the Hoosiers.\nPulkrabek lettered three times in soccer at Barrington High School in Illinois and came to IU to play for the women's soccer team. She played her freshman year, but in 2000 decided to defend a different net when the field hockey team turned from a club squad to a varsity sport.\n"The techniques and concepts (of field hockey) are all the same from soccer," Pulkrabek said. "I just had to get used to the rules and the attire we use in field hockey. I was still adjusting last year, but this year I think I understand all the rules, and that is helping me play better."\nPulkrabek's statistics have improved this year, recording 14 saves on 17 shots. She also has a less than two goals-against average, down from 5.31 in her first season.\n"I worked really hard during the off-season and really tried to improve," Pulkrabek said. "Because I was the only goalie here during the off-season I really got to play a lot and was able to improve."\nIn a Sept. 7 game against Stanford, she had 10 saves in the second half and two 15-minute, overtime sessions.\nAlthough the Hoosiers fell to Stanford in a shootout, Pulkrabek's performance earned her personal recognition as Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week. The award was the first of its kind given to an Indiana field hockey player. Pulkrabek was told of the award at practice where she admits she was somewhat surprised.\n"I was pleasantly surprised," she said. "I was actually very happy, but I didn't know what to say."\nCoach Amy Robertson and Pulkrabek noted that the award was good for the program, but its greater importance is in the confidence it gives Pulkrabek.\n"It was great to be recognized and acknowledged within the conference, but outside awards really can't boost our play," Robertson said. "Most important is that Molly now has the confidence that she can play like that again."\nPulkrabek agreed.\n"It's a step forward for the whole team, because other teams will see that we can play well and will not just brush us off," Pulkrabek said. "But it's all about confidence. As long as I stay intense and focus, I hope to play with the same capabilities."\nWhile Pulkrabek's play has improved, freshman transfer Katie Kanara has also played well for the Hoosiers in net. Both Kanara and Pulkrabek admit that while they each want to start, they know they have to push each other and work together to help the team improve.\n"We both want to start, it's real competitive," Kanara said. "However, we also look to each other for various things and try to improve."\nPulkrabek said teamwork is the key.\n"We understand the we are on the same team and have to work together," Pulkrabek said. "It's really good to have the competition to work harder and to get stronger"

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