A promising start for IU this weekend headed south quickly as the Hoosiers played into two overtime matchups.
It was like taking five steps forward and 10 steps back for the Hoosiers (8-9) after they displayed a prolific defensive performance against No. 6 Maryland (15-3) in a 1-0 overtime loss and then lost to unranked American (10-6) by a score of 4-3 in double overtime.
Freshman goalkeeper Noelle Rother headlined a successful first game of the road trip for the Hoosiers this weekend. Rother and the IU defense shut down the high-powered Terrapin offense for 70 minutes.
IU played Maryland into overtime but eventually the Terrapins prevailed as Welma Luus scored the game-winner eight minutes into the extra period to keep Maryland’s conference record unblemished.
“Maryland is one of the best teams in the Big Ten, and one of the best in the country,” IU Coach Amanda Janney said. “For us to play that strongly and shut them out for 70 minutes was exceptional.”
The Hoosier defense looked calm in the first half after allowing just one penalty corner against the explosive Maryland offense. In the second half, IU’s defense bent but didn’t break, as Maryland put on 17 shots and earned 10 penalty corners.
Rother’s 11-save effort in the second half, backed by two key defensive saves by junior defender Malia Fujisawa and senior defender Sydney Supica kept the Terrapins scoreless as the Hoosiers headed into overtime for the third time this season.
The Hoosiers’ efforts weren’t enough to pull off the upset, as Maryland was able to cash in the only goal of the game to survive in overtime.
“Although we lost tonight, the way we played shows how far we have come,” Fujisawa said. “Taking Maryland to overtime shows how much this team has grown in such a short period of time.”
IU couldn’t back up the performance they displayed Friday when they headed to American on Sunday and lost in overtime again.
The Eagles quickly pounced on the Hoosiers, earning a penalty corner on their first offensive possession of the game. They successfully converted on the corner to go up 1-0 and maintained that lead going into halftime.
An early second-half goal put the Eagles up 2-0, and the Hoosiers found themselves in a hole. IU quickly responded when they cashed in off a penalty corner of their own. Less than two minutes later, IU went to its go-to play with junior defender Kate Barber taking a straight shot and finding the back of the net, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
The tides turned after the Hoosiers first goal of the contest as two Hoosier goals followed by sophomore midfielder Taylor Pearson and freshman forward Claire Woods, who registered her first career goal, to put IU up 3-2 with seven minutes remaining.
“We were on our press, and AJ yelled at us to cut the field and change it,” Woods said. “I was looking at her on the sideline and turned and did exactly what she said, and it worked, so it was great coaching and execution.”
American was down to its final chance as they earned a penalty corner and set up as time expired. The Eagles were able to take advantage of the corner and scored to tie the game up and take it into overtime.
After a scoreless first overtime, the Eagles found a similar formula in double overtime, as sophomore forward Natalie Konerth scored off another American penalty corner to secure the win for the Eagles, 4-3.
“It’s a small step backward based off the progress we were making in Big Ten’s and how well the team played against Maryland,” Janney said. “I think we used a little too much gas on Friday and looked fatigued, but really no excuses. We should have won today’s game, and it’s another lesson learned before we head into postseason.”