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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

IU looks to get back on track against Rutgers

Senior midfielder Tori Keller chases the ball during the women's game versus Penn State on Sept. 14 at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

IU Coach Amy Berbary has a new mantra for her team to rally around heading into tonight’s game against No. 25 Rutgers.

“ONE.”

It’s the sequel to last year’s social media tag, “#12ISEABOVE.”

The idea behind “ONE” is to establish and strengthen team unity. The idea is to focus on the small details of one game, one practice or even just one play at a time.

After the success of last year’s “#12ISEABOVE” campaign, Berbary said she is hoping “ONE” matches the standard set last year.

“Basically what we’re going to refocus on is our new goal, which is to get ourselves to West Lafayette Nov. 5,” Berbary said, referring to the Big Ten Tournament. “Then, we can establish our new goals.”

After losing five of six games to start the Big Ten season, Berbary tried to refocus her team this week by taking a step away from soccer.

The coaching staff on Tuesday brought in former IU men’s soccer player turned motivational speaker Whitey Kapsalis to speak with the team.

Kapsalis walked on at IU in 1983. He spoke to the team about what it means to be a leader and push forward through difficult times.

The Hoosiers will see if the new mantra and motivational speaker’s speech works at 7 p.m. today in Piscataway, N.J., against Rutgers, a team IU has never played.

Because the teams have never met, Berbary said she has treated Rutgers as a nonconference opponent.

“We talked about focusing on the individual,” IU senior midfielder Jordan Woolums said. “If everyone does their job, then we shouldn’t have any problems.”

IU has lost three Big Ten games by just one goal.

Berbary has blamed the close losses on the Hoosiers making one or two costly mistakes. The mental mistakes have been a frustrating reoccurring theme for IU throughout the season.

Berbary said she thinks IU is close to getting back on track. To her, it’s just a matter of being able to limit the frequency mistakes.

“I think for the most part, we’ve been playing well,” Berbary said. “I think it’s been that one piece that we’ve been missing that we need to work on.”

IU sits in 12th place in the Big Ten standings with just three points through six conference games.

The eighth-place Big Ten Tournament cutoff team is Maryland, with seven points through just five games.

With just seven conference games left and a goal of making the Big Ten Tournament for the second consecutive year on the line, Woolums said the Hoosiers need points before it’s too late.

“We don’t really have a choice,” Woolums said. “We have to focus on Thursday. It only takes one game to turn it around, so I think we get Thursday. That’s our goal is to get Thursday.”

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