Indiana Daily Student

Halfway through season, field hockey coach gives team ‘B’ on midterm

Junior forward Alina Valenti takes a goal shot during the Hoosiers 4-1 scrimmage loss to Louisville Aug. 24 at the IU Field Hockey field.
Junior forward Alina Valenti takes a goal shot during the Hoosiers 4-1 scrimmage loss to Louisville Aug. 24 at the IU Field Hockey field.

With nine games down and at least nine to go, IU field hockey coach Amy Robertson gave a simple midterm assessment of her team.

“A pretty solid B,” she said. “B-minus, maybe.”

The Hoosiers (5-4) will head north this weekend for a pair of games in the state of Michigan, beginning the heart of their schedule.

IU faces No. 8 Michigan State at 6 p.m. Friday in East Lansing, Mich., and will travel to Central Michigan’s campus for a noon game against the Chippewas on Sunday in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Robertson said her team is playing well but needs to work on its consistency.

“We certainly have room for improvement,” she said. “So we’re not quite at the A-level yet. We had an outstanding performance against Wake Forest. We took a step back against Iowa this past weekend. We’ve got to be able to take some confidence and keep growing.”

IU played then-No. 1 Wake Forest on Sept. 14 to a 2-1 loss, but was tripped up in a 6-1 drubbing against Iowa last Friday.

Some of the players think their coach is being generous. Sophomores Katie Griswold and Mutsa Mutembwa said they would give the team a C grade.

“I think we have a lot more potential than we’re playing to,” Griswold said. “It’s an honest grade.”

Griswold hopes her team will start playing to its potential Friday.

The Spartans (9-1) are on a six-game winning streak. They are offense-minded, leading the Big Ten in shots per game (20.2) and trail only Iowa in goals scored per game (3.90).

“I think coming off of (the Iowa game), we’re going in with a lot of energy,” Griswold said. “We definitely were motivated from last weekend and want to get back on track.”

Mutembwa also talked about the team’s potential heading into the weekend games.

“Everyone says the talent on our team is boundless, and I feel like that if we can get it into place, there is no stopping us,” she said. “It actually puts more pressure on us to perform, because we are that good, we’re just not proving it. We don’t have our game face on. I think 6-1 was a slap in the face and so the game face is now on.”

With the focus directed toward the Friday night game against the Spartans, the Hoosiers will begin focusing on their Sunday game against Central Michigan on their free day, Saturday.

Mutembwa warned not to rely on the Chippewas’ 1-7 record for comfort. Central Michigan has lost four games in a row, but the last three have been within two goals. CMU out-shot its opponents in each of those games.

“It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we want everyone to know that we take every game seriously,” Mutembwa said. “When we get the chance, and the chance is now, we are really going to show a team how good we are.”

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