After having a full week of practice under their belt, the Hoosiers (2-4) will seek to bounce back from two consecutive losses when they play in-state rival Ball State (1-6) at 4 p.m. Friday.
“We have a lot of things we’ve been working on,” IU Coach Amanda Janney said. “We’ve just been getting the team reconnected, making sure we’re on the same page, communicating well with each other and just making that connection on the field.”
Janney’s offense was nearly shut out last Friday but ended up salvaging one goal on just two shots, as the offense couldn’t get their press going the way they had hoped.
“We’ve been working on a variety of attack things, and we’re not going to win games if we don’t score a lot of goals,” Janney said. “We’ve been working on different scoring opportunities, and the team has responded well. They’ve been working really hard, and they know that Friday is a big game for us.”
Senior forward Karen Lorite, the team leader in goals with three, credited Janney on bringing the team together and making them work hard to bounce back and end up in the win column Friday.
“In past years, we were more individual and not as focused,” Lorite said. “A.J. brings a lot of energy, and now we are self-disciplined and are there for the team. We don’t only want to win this weekend, but we want to get better throughout the season.”
Ball State comes into Friday’s game after recording their first win against Appalachian State last Saturday. IU will be the fourth Big Ten opponent they have squared off against this year, with Iowa still remaining on the docket.
The Cardinals have a first-year head coach of their own in Sally Northcroft, who graduated from Ball State in 2000.
“We know they have a new coach, so they’re going to have some new strategies,” Janney said. “Right now we’re just focused on Indiana field hockey and playing our best game.”
Janney has been extremely impressed with her true freshman goalkeeper Noëlle Rother, who leads the Big Ten in saves with 29 and in saves per game with 4.8.
“We’re very happy with her production in terms of her acclimating to the American game and being able to play at such a high level for a young freshman,” Janney said about the true freshman from Germany. “We’re not too surprised that she’s doing so well because we knew that she was so talented coming in.”
The Hoosiers will have to make sure to start the game off on the right foot against Ball State, something they failed to do against Miami by allowing two goals in the first 10 minutes.
“We have to pick up the intensity,” Lorite said. “We’ve been working really hard this week and focusing on the details to get the simple things right, and the good things will come.”