IU is no stranger to long weekends in the pool.
However, this weekend will be a little more demanding than usual. Starting Friday, the Hoosiers will travel to the East Coast, where they will play five games in the span of three days.
IU Coach Ryan Castle said the weekend will pose a mental challenge for his team, and the Hoosiers will need to keep their focus and take things one step at a time.
“You’ve got to approach it one step at a time,” Castle said. “Obviously, five games in one weekend is unique across any varsity sport, but we’re not the only team in our conference that has to do it.”
After suffering a loss to Michigan last Sunday, Castle said he was impressed with the team’s practices during the week, and every player would be ready for the challenge of such a condensed schedule.
“These kids want to win,” Castle said. “They certainly are high achievers, and they don’t just want to show up and waste their time at practice.”
A trip to Brown starts the weekend, and IU will look to get back to .500 in conference play with a win over the Bears. Brown currently sits at 11-12 for the season with an 0-1 record in the conference. That loss came at the hands of Hartwick, who also knocked off IU last month.
Despite their sub-.500 record, Castle said Brown still posed a tough challenge, and that IU couldn’t afford to overlook its first opponent.
“Brown isn’t a bad opponent at all,” Castle said. “We’ve historically struggled with Brown at home. They’re well-coached, well-organized, and they’ve got some good athletes in key positions. We’ve got to do the job from there.”
After the short side trip to Providence, IU will head to Boston on Saturday for matchups with Princeton and Harvard. Princeton has a record of 13-7 on the season and had won seven straight games before falling to No. 3 USC on March 22.
IU will face Harvard for the second time this season on Saturday. The Hoosiers knocked off the Crimson 11-10 in an absolute barn-burner of a contest, highlighted by four goals from senior center Jennifer Beadle. Harvard is 13-11 this season, and has won two straight going into the weekend.
On Sunday, IU will take on George Washington in the first game before closing out the weekend with a game against Bucknell. George Washington is 10-8 and is coming off back-to-back losses to Harvard and Bucknell, two teams that IU defeated earlier this season.
IU played Bucknell on March 24 and knocked off the Bison behind five goals from junior defender Karrie Kozokar and a hat trick from senior utility Sarah Young. Bucknell is 10-12 and has won two straight coming into the weekend.