If there are such things as good blowout losses and bad overtime wins in sports, coach Amy Robertson said the IU field hockey team experienced both this past weekend.
The Hoosiers (6-5) defeated Central Michigan 1-0 in overtime Sunday after falling 9-1 at No. 8 Michigan State on Friday.
“Even though it seems weird to say, I felt better about the game on Friday than (Sunday),” Robertson said.
Despite the win against the struggling Chippewas (1-8), the Hoosiers were out-shot and had problems moving the ball on offense throughout the game, Robertson said. IU’s multiple turnovers forced pressure on the backs and sophomore goalie Alex Mann.
IU’s saving grace came in overtime, when junior forward Alina Valenti found junior midfielder Meg O’Connell on a pass, and O’Connell scored the game’s lone goal.
“We played well for the first 10 minutes of the game,” Robertson said. “But then we made a couple mistakes, and we panicked a little bit.”
Robertson said she was only impressed by Mann’s performance in the goal and her team’s ability to pull out the win in overtime.
For Mann, the game was her third shutout of the season and a rebound from IU’s past two games, when the defense had allowed 15 combined goals.
“It’s very important that the defense played well today,” Mann said. “We don’t really like to go down that bad, so this game is a step forward.”
Sophomore forward Katie Griswold echoed her coach’s sentiments, and said she felt her team did not show up until overtime.
“We didn’t connect today,” she said. “We didn’t play IU field hockey. We never got into the game for some reason.”
However, the game still ended a two-match losing streak for the Hoosiers, who took a break from conference play to face Central Michigan.
“At the end of the day, a win’s a win,” Griswold said.
On Friday, the Hoosiers faced a high-paced, top-10 ranked Spartan team. IU could not contain Spartan junior Floor Rijpma, who had more shots (seven) than the entire Hoosier team (six). Rijpma scored four goals on those seven shots.
The Hoosiers held Michigan State scoreless through the game’s first 10 minutes, before the Spartans then put in five goals over little more than the next 30 minutes.
IU junior forward Haley Funk scored her fifth goal of the season at the 47:48 mark in the game, but the Spartans added four more goals before the game ended.
Robertson said the Hoosiers showed some positives, despite the final score. She credited the Spartans’ offense, but felt her team’s attack was more efficient and effective than on Sunday.
“Michigan State punishes you if you make fundamental mistakes,” she said. “They take shots so quickly, so accurately. It was really unfortunate to get scored on nine goals, but all is not lost.”