Since IU Coach Amanda Janney’s arrival to Bloomington in 2015, the IU field hockey program has only moved forward.
Last season, her team obtained nine total victories while winning a program-high of five conference games. This year, they have become a rough opponent for any team that faces them.
Janney has begun her second season at the helm of the Hoosiers, and after a year of adaptation, she has new thoughts, feelings and season objectives for IU.
“In my second year, the pride in the team and what we have accomplished is a little bit stronger,” Janney said. “To see how much the team has been fighting and training over the spring and summer — seeing that in action in my second year, I know how meaningful these games are for our seniors.”
Janney said she thinks what makes IU special is the opportunity being in the Big Ten brings to her players. Not only does this conference have some of the best academic programs in the country, but it also has top-level athletic programs.
She said those who are in the conference — coaches and athletes — should be grateful for the opportunities programs like IU provide.
Janney played collegiately at Wake Forest in the ACC and coached for 10 years in the Atlantic-10 at Temple. But after a year of experiencing the Big Ten, she said she now believes that it’s the best field hockey conference in the country.
“I grew up on the ACC. I have a lot of pride for playing field hockey in the ACC,” Janney said. “But I think the longer I am here, the more confident I am that the Big Ten is the best conference in the nation. I see the way we treat all of our student athletes, and especially our female athletes, so well. I continue to see evidence of that the longer I am here.”
With a wealth of field hockey knowledge, Janney said her coaching style hasn’t changed from last season, but she said her style is different from those of other coaches in the Big Ten conference.
While some coaches put a lot of emphasis on strong physical plays and players, Janney likes to focus on a more finesse game without leaving behind the physical part.
“Our team is able to keep a balance between both,” Janney said. “We have strong physical players and also have people like junior Taylor Pearson who are very smooth with the ball and really exciting to watch with the finesse play.”
Senior midfielder and team captain Mollie Getzfread said it is good to have Janney leading the team because of the high standards she demands from Getzfread and her teammates
“She really expects a lot,” Getzfread said. “She just really tries to get us to see our true potential and know how good we are.”
Getzfread said sometimes when the team is not performing well at halftime, Janney pushes the team to do better in the locker rooms, and it works.
Senior team captain and defender Kate Barber said the biggest asset that Janney provides the team is her knowledge of the game and her management of the team.
Barber’s favorite piece of advice from Janney is to give everything you have in every game. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the team doesn’t perform well, because they can recuperate the following weekend with more hard work.
In contrast to last season, Janney doesn’t view IU as the underdog of the conference and believes the team is ready to stand among the best teams out there after earning the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten tournament last season.
“I think last year we were really just trying not to be last,” Janney said. “We were just trying to be eight and make it into the tournament. This year, our expectations are extremely higher. We are looking at the top — be number one in the country, not only getting into the tournament, but really succeed at it.”