Sophomore forward Alec Purdie spent four years playing on a pitch just 15 miles from where he will play today when No. 23 IU takes on Notre Dame in South Bend.
Winning the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament a month ago, the Hoosiers left South Bend with a pair of wins against New Mexico and Seattle.
The Elkhart Central graduate and his teammates take the pitch in Northern Indiana today for the third time this season, but they are looking for the same result as their past two experiences: a win.
“I have a lot of fun there,” Purdie said about playing close to his hometown. “I have a lot of friends, and I coached a lot of the young guys at the Elkhart Flames. I think they’re scheduling those little guys to play at halftime.”
A 6-4-1 record follows the Hoosiers on the road for their solo road game. The Hoosiers are 5-2 away from Bloomington this season.
This game is Purdie’s first appearance against the Irish in South Bend, but being in front of a hometown crowd does not scare him.
“You can’t look at it that way,” he said. “You have to take it as another game and just play hard and get in your minutes.”
Growing up so close to Notre Dame has had no effect on Purdie, who has been loyal to the cream and crimson since he was young.
“I grew up as an IU fan, and it would be great to go home and get a result there, but I’ll treat it as I would any other opponent,” Purdie said.
A win at Michigan on Saturday quickly ended the Hoosiers’ two-game losing streak, and they are not ready to start another.
“We want to keep focusing on what we’ve been doing, like in the Michigan game – playing well as a team and playing really hard,” junior Daniel Kelly said.
IU coach Mike Freitag has talked about line-up changes and different players switching positions on the field.
Kelly, who is listed as a mid fielder, is one of those changing players. He has covered almost the entire field.
“I’m used to it,” Kelly said. “I’ve always been able to play in the back and outside in the middle and up-top, so it’s fine. I enjoy it.”
Although Freitag was confident in his team’s play Saturday, he said they need to continue their style against the Irish.
“We want to get better offensively – take care of the ball a little bit better,” Freitag said. “I’m looking for a big performance and for us to play to our potential. That’s all I’ve been looking for all year, just playing to our potential. We’re getting there, little by little.”