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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports field hockey

IU clinches Big Ten berth after shutouts

The IU field hockey team celebrates after a goal during the game against Penn State Sunday afternoon at the IU Field Hockey Complex. The Hoosiers defeated the Nittany Lions 1-0.

Hoosier field hockey bounced back from a three-game losing streak by shutting out two conference opponents this weekend, which bolstered its conference record to 4-2. The four wins signifies the most conference wins since the 2009 season.

“Our team goal was to get to four (conference) wins,” IU Coach Amanda Janney said. “To finally get to four wins and establish that for our program, we’re thrilled for the team and the seniors to accomplish that team goal.”

IU had a statement win on the road Friday when it visited Ohio State, leaving Columbus, Ohio, with its first shutout victory of the season. The Hoosier defense was strong throughout the game, with freshman goalkeeper Noelle Rother stopping all six shots on goal.

Along with Rother, senior defender Sydney Supica intercepted a number of Buckeye entry passes while junior defenders Malia Fujisawa and Kate Barber locked down the rest of the Ohio State team in the shutout effort.

IU struck early against Ohio State in the 17th minute when it was awarded its first penalty corner of the game. IU pulled its most predictable, yet effective play of the season with Latino taking the corner. The ball was inserted at the top of the circle where it was settled and passed off to Barber, who sniped it past the keeper to give IU a 1-0 lead.

“Her straight shot is simply phenomenal,” Janney said. “It’s a go-to play for us that we’re really confident in using. Kate Barber is a player who works so hard in the backfield and doesn’t always get the recognition for the amazing games she plays.”

After the break, the Hoosiers wasted no time adding to their lead as Barber netted her second goal of the game. Barber fired a shot near the top of the circle that was saved. However, as the ball was being cleared, Barber intercepted the ball and put a shot on goal through the five-hole of the keeper to put the Hoosiers up two.

IU sealed the victory less than a minute later when freshman midfielder Claire Woods broke away to find senior forward Rachel Stauffer on a fast break as she poked the ball past the keeper making it 3-0 IU.

The defensive trend continued against Penn State on Sunday as Rother turned in another six-save performance in the 1-0 victory against Penn State.

With the Nittany Lions controlling possession the majority of the first half, the Hoosiers were able to strike just before heading into the locker room.

IU was awarded a penalty and quickly went to its go-to play with Barber taking a shot at the top of the circle. The shot found Supica’s stick right at the goal line, deflecting the ball into the back of the cage as time expired.

“Penn State was controlling a lot of the game, and our backs were getting hammered,” senior forward Nicole Volgraf said. “We put it on the mids and the forwards saying that we can’t keep passing it back to them and have to relieve them a little bit.”

Rother turned in four saves in the second half to keep the Nittany Lions scoreless, but the biggest save of the game came from Supica. She made a valiant effort to stop the ball at the goal line with two minutes remaining, securing the win for the Hoosiers.

This win marks the first for the senior class against Penn State, IU has secured its spot in the conference tournament after being left out last season.

“Penn State is always a great rival for us,” Supica said. “If you look back at the scores the past couple of years, we haven’t done so great. I think just to come back and win 1-0 and shut them out as a senior class, there’s no better way to go out.”

IU will be tested on the road next weekend, as it heads to the northeast to face No. 7 Maryland 
(13-3, 6-0) next Friday and then travels to Washington, D.C. on Sunday to play American University (9-5).

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