Back in high school, Ciara Girouard was chosen as her team’s most valuable player twice and was the team captain her junior and senior years.
Now a freshman at IU, she’s sought to adapt to the college game as quickly as possible and to not only perform at a high level, but to surpass her previous marks and lead the team to new heights.
Born in West Deptford, New Jersey, Girouard made her scoring debut with a double last weekend against Central Michigan.
“Ciara is such a talented freshman,” IU Coach Amanda Janney said. “I was really pleased recruiting her and having her come to IU. She is the type of recruit we are going to continue to get in the future.”
Janney also mentioned that Girouard’s toughness on the field, physique and game sense help her stand out on the field and are useful when she goes for goals — something Girouard did a lot in high school.
Girouard didn’t score in the first nine games of the season for the Hoosiers, but regardless of her empty scoring sheet, the freshman contributed by generating a lot of penalty-corner opportunities.
Janney spends a lot of time in practice making sure penalty corners convert into goals at games, so Girouard’s contribution was well received by the second-year coach.
Now that Girouard’s scoreless streak has come to an end, Girouard only wants to continue finding the back of the net.
“I need to score more,” Girouard said. “I feel relieved. After you get the first one it is like, ‘Alright, here we go.’”
Senior captain Kate Barber said she is very happy about Girouard getting her scoring debut with the Hoosiers because, for her, when a freshman scores, it generates a unique confidence boost that later leads to more remarkable performances.
In addition to Barber, senior defender Malia Fujisawa is proud of Girouard and confessed she was not expecting her scoring debut to come so late because Girouard’s talent brings a lot to the table for IU.
Janney said Girouard’s performance against Central Michigan is nothing close to what she can really accomplish and that, as she develops at IU, her game will only improve.
“There is so much potential in that player,” Janney said. “She has been very versatile playing in different positions, but I think we are going to see Kate Barber breaking the scoring record, and we are going to see someone like Ciara break it very soon after.”
Janney said to break those records, Girouard needs to become a better finisher, and as of her goals last week, her confidence may just enable her to do so.
The forward will seek to find the back of the net against No. 18 Iowa this Friday at the IU Field Hockey Complex. This will be the Hoosiers’ third conference game and a challenge for Girouard and the rest of the Hoosier offensive line.