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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports field hockey

IU sets program record in conference wins

Freshman midfielder Charlie Kaste passes the ball during the game against Penn State Sunday afternoon at the IU Field Hockey Complex. The Hoosiers defeated the Nittany Lions 1-0.

In mid-October the IU field hockey program locked up a Big Ten conference berth after missing out on the postseason tournament a season ago. Just making the tournament was one of the main goals for the Hoosiers during the preseason in August, after finishing 2014 with a 9-8 record — 1-7 in the Big Ten.

After IU (9-9, 5-3) earned its third shutout victory of the season against Rutgers (7-10, 0-8), it didn’t only lock up the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, but it also set the program record for most conference wins in a single season.

“To get the shutout win, our defense again pulled through for us,” IU Coach Amanda Janney said. “They had to make some huge saves against a very aggressive and talented Rutgers team. We’re really proud of the team for so many great 
contributions.”

The goalkeeping of freshman Noelle Rother was once again the highlight performance of the game for the Hoosiers, as she notched her third shutout of her young career. IU looked as if it was going to be down in a 1-0 hole early in the first half when Rutgers was awarded a penalty stroke.

Rother guessed correctly on the stroke and dove to her right, making a dynamic stick save to keep the Scarlet Knights off the board.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stroke save like that before,” Janney said. “She’s just doing things that most goalkeepers can’t do. It builds our confidence on defense and she’s just working so hard in practice.”

The Hoosiers finally broke the scoreless draw with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.

As IU earned a penalty corner, the Hoosiers went to their favorite goal-scoring play with a straight shot being taken at the top of the circle. This time it was senior defender Sydney Supica who rattled the back of the cage after sophomore forward Maddie Latino inserted the ball to senior forward Rachel Stauffer, who made the 
assist.

“It’s a lot of muscle memory, we practice that so often that you have to have the mindset that when you hit the ball, it’s going to go in,” Supica said. “We’ve practiced them enough this season that we try to make sure that every corner is a goal.”

IU made sure it executed its penalty corner plan one more time in the game as junior defender Kate Barber found the cage off a straight shot in the 57th minute to seal the victory for the Hoosiers, 2-0.

The eight-save performance by Rother was filled with highlight reel stops, giving her 106 saves on the season, making her third in program history on the single-season save list.

“She’s just come in here with such confidence and has just wowed everyone, and it’s amazing to watch her play,” Stauffer said. “As a senior watching a freshman, she’s just incredible.”

With IU securing the three seed after the shutout victory against Rutgers, it will have to wait and see how the conference standings shape up — as it could potentially play Northwestern, Ohio State or Penn State in the first round of the conference tournament next weekend.

IU defeated all three of those teams this season, including back-to-back shutout wins against Ohio State and Penn State.

“It just makes me really proud that this team has stepped up so much and the senior leadership has been so good this year,” Janney said. “When we started in the spring we were just trying to make sure we weren’t last, so to come out with a third place finish in the Big Ten, it just says so much about how hard these players work.”

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