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Monday, Dec. 11
The Indiana Daily Student

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Robertson: No. 9 Penn State ‘beatable’

Penn State has yet to lose in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 9 in the national coaches poll. They have won seven games in a row.

But IU coach Amy Robertson said, despite Penn State’s record, it is “beatable.” Robertson spent all week during practice trying to instill that message into her players.

The Hoosiers (7-7, 1-3) face Penn State (11-4, 3-0) at 5 p.m. Friday. The game will be IU’s first away game since Oct. 5.

“We’re really excited about this trip,” Robertson said. “Nothing against Penn State, but they’re beatable. We’re fighting for respect, to get better, to get to our potential, which we haven’t reached yet.”

IU’s offense will be put to the test against a stingy Penn State defense.

While the Hoosiers have struggled to score this season – they are last in the Big Ten with 1.97 goals per game – the Nittany Lions do not allow many goals. Penn State has allowed 15 goals in 15 games this season, leading the conference in goals against average. In seven of those games, the defense produced a shutout.

Junior back Lucy Ireland hopes the team can replicate its 2-1 victory against Michigan on Oct. 12.

In handing the Wolverines their only conference loss to date, IU played well on both ends of the field. The Hoosiers scored two second-half goals and allowed Michigan only two shots on goal the entire game.

“We showed our best game at Michigan,” Ireland said. “If we come out like that against Penn State, we can score and come out with a win.”

Ireland said the Penn State game would depend on her team’s defensive effort. In IU’s three conference losses, the defense allowed 20 combined goals.

“Their forwards are fast, but we have a fast defense,” she said. “Penn State doesn’t have the best skill in the Big Ten, they just play with a lot of effort and energy. Our defensive unit has to step up.”

The Hoosiers also are trying to correct their recent inconsistent play.

In its past five games, the team has alternated wins and losses.

The Hoosiers have not been able to maintain its competitiveness for the entire game, said senior back Dani Castro.

“We need to play all 70 minutes, with no let up,” Castro said. “If we put what we have learned in practice into the game, we can do that.”

For inconsistency from game to game, Robertson said she will forget the past and focus on the team’s three remaining regular-season games.

“Our mission for the rest of the season is to give an all-out effort,” Robertson said, “to push the limit in every game.”

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