The Hoosiers used a stellar defensive performance this weekend to beat one of two top-15 ranked opponents they would face in the only pure home weekend of the season.
IU upset No. 6 Northwestern on Friday, 2-1, but failed to find the net in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of No. 14 Boston College on Sunday at the IU Field Hockey Complex.
“To split a weekend like this is still a very great showing for our program,” IU Coach Amanda Janney said. “I think both these teams this weekend were very talented and had some extremely talented forwards, and for our defense to limit some opportunities from some strong opponents, I think we are building and getting better every game.”
The Wildcats entered their contest with the Hoosiers on Friday afternoon with 53 goals in their previous 12 games, but were unable to find much success on offense in Bloomington.
Sophomore goalie Noëlle Rother notched 10 saves over the course of the game, only allowing a goal a little over 22 minutes in to Northwestern freshman Lily Katzman. Katzman was by far not the Wildcats’ primary goal scorer, as forwards Isabel Flens and Dominique Masters entered the game with 12 and nine goals this season, respectively.
Freshman Ciara Girouard found the net in the first half for the Hoosiers about five minutes before Katzman would score the equalizer, and sophomore Nora Aucker would score the game-winner in the second.
Both goals came on each player’s first and only shots of the game.
“Maddie Latino at the end of the game told me ‘you’re just always at the right spot,’” Girouard said about her goal. “I guess so, I mean it was just great, I feel that opportunity has been happening lately, I just get the rebounds and put them in.”
Likewise Aucker found herself in the right place in the circle at the right time to flick the ball high into the net for her first career goal and the Hoosiers’ second conference win of the season.
“I think this was a great game for us,” Janney said. “We have been playing great hockey and we just have not gotten the results the last games that we have played top-10 teams, so to see it all coming to play today is very rewarding for the team.”
IU was not able to stay on the winning track after the upset, however. Lower-ranked Boston College squad squandered a perfect weekend.
The Hoosiers were not able to generate more than one shot on goal and one penalty corner during the game, in contrast to the Eagles, who generated 10 shots on goal and 12 penalty corners.
Junior Elle Hempt said there are still more positive than negative points to take in from this weekend, and that the Hoosiers are ready to go on the road next weekend to face two conference opponents.
IU plays Michigan on Friday in Ann Arbor before traveling to East Lansing on Sunday to face off with Michigan State. The Michigan State matchup will be aired on BTN Plus.
“Really getting above .500 in the Big Ten is going to be huge next weekend,” Hempt said. “So just taking all the positives from this weekend with some great tackles and good attacking patters and then just learning from the breakdowns we had against Boston College so we can take those into next weekend and being successful.”