Entering their final weekend of regular season play before the Big Ten tournament, the Hoosiers have a final opportunity to turn around their record.
IU, 6-10 overall, has lost seven of its last eight games, and the two remaining regular season matches both feature ranked opponents playing IU.
First, IU will hit the road and visit the No. 24-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes for a match at 3 p.m. Friday.
The Buckeyes boast an 8-7 overall record this season but only have one more conference win compared to the Hoosiers.
Senior goalkeeper Katie Johnson said this weekend will be a tough one for the team.
“I think we just need to get better and keep improving. Yes, this is still “preseason” before we enter the postseason," Johnson said. "But after this weekend it's survive and advance. Every game matters. We need to keep improving on things to put us in the best position for that Big Ten Tournament."
Currently, seven of the nine teams in the Big Ten are ranked in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association top-25 rankings.
IU had success earlier this season with an upset win against then-No. 15 Wake Forest. Since that upset, IU has lost to six straight ranked foes.
“We know the Big Ten Conference is one of the best in the nation. I think it’s great that the majority of the teams are getting votes in the coaches poll," IU Coach Amanda Janney said. "The parity in the Big Ten is fantastic and that’s why we like it. It’s such a great conference, and we know every game is going to be a battle. We’re really looking forward to the tournament starting and kind of get a fresh start there."
Following the match in Columbus, Ohio, IU will return home for its final regular season match.
The Senior Day celebration will be at noon Sunday against No. 6 Penn State at the IU Field Hockey Complex.
Once the regular season ends, postseason play starts with the Big Ten Tournament first-round play Oct. 27.