“My team always plays better at home,” said IU Coach Amanda Janney, who is preparing for her first home game for the Hoosiers. “It’s what you’re comfortable with. You know the field. You know the bounce, and we have amazing support here at Indiana.”
IU is returning from a west coast road trip, where they went 1-2 with a 5-3 win against Pacific and losses to No. 6 Stanford and California, both by one goal.
“The challenge of going on a big road stint is tough,” said Janney. “We’ve learned a lot of good lessons and played some really quality teams out there and played against some different styles of hockey.”
The Hoosier attack will be led by senior Karen Lorite, who has recorded eight points this season, and sophomore Maddie Latino, who has already quadrupled her number of shot attempts from last year in the first five games.
However, this will be the second time the Hoosiers will see the Redhawks (3-2) in 2015. I
IU defeated Miami 3-2 in regulation and 3-0 in the shootout of an exhibition match Aug. 19 in Oxford, Ohio.
“In that game we were pretty prepared, but I think this game we’re going to be even more prepared,” Barber said. “The past three weeks we’ve been working really hard implementing everything from practice and video, and I think we’re going to take a lot away from it.”
Each of Miami’s wins this season have come in shutout fashion against St. Louis, UC Davis and Pacific, and their losses have been to tough opponents in No. 7 Albany and No. 6 Stanford in overtime.
“Every time I have played Miami with this team we have beaten them,” Janney said. “We have to be careful not to get too over-confident in knowing that it’s a team we have scored a handful of goals on in the past.”
German freshman goalkeeper Noëlle Rother has been consistent between the posts for the Hoosiers this season. She leads the Big Ten in saves with 26 and is third in saves per game at 5.2.
“For a freshman, she’s exceeded expectations and has really stepped up,” Janney said. “The international experience and the high level of games she has played she’s been prepared for the shots she’s been seeing in our season.”
Rother has been tested early in the season, however. Even though she leads the conference in saves, she has allowed 10 goals in the first five games of the season.
The Hoosiers hope to make Janney’s home debut one to remember.
“This is special for her because it is her first home game,” Barber said. “We’re all just going to work hard, play our best and hopefully get the ‘W’ out of it.”