After a strong opening weekend in Bloomington, the IU field hockey team traveled to Philadelphia in search of two marquee road victories.
Instead, the Hoosiers board the plane empty-handed after running into two tough Philadelphia “city six” teams in Drexel and Villanova.
IU fell to Villanova 3-2 in overtime on Friday before being shut out at the hands of Drexel 2-0 on Sunday.
“It’s frustrating that our good play isn’t showing up on the scoreboard,” IU Coach Amanda Janney Misselhorn said. “Between the midfield, we’re having some good combinations and passing plays but just not finishing on the attacking end."
IU outshot Drexel 12-10 and were close throughout the game in penalty corners.
Even with the numbers the offense produced, senior Nora Aucker said she knows there’s much to be learned from a winless weekend.
“We acknowledged the things that we definitely need to work on: getting more sustained attack, playing solid defense and all of the little things we can do between the 25's,” Aucker said. “We wanted to make sure, facing two losses this weekend that we didn’t want to have, that we move forward and make big strides from here.”
While the IU offense has failed to put large amounts of goals in the back of the net, Janney Misselhorn acknowledges the effort from the Hoosiers on the offensive end.
After a handful of close losses this weekend, she feels as though IU is close to breaking through in that regard.
“Our poise and composure in the circle need to keep improving as the season progresses,” Janney Misselhorn said. “We were getting some good chances, especially in the second half where we’re earning shots and corners. We just have to find a way to put them in the back of the net.”
After completing the first long road trip, the Hoosiers will be home for nearly two weeks straight with three consecutive home games.
IU will be back on a regular practice schedule as the captains and the rest of the Hoosiers attempt to turn the tide.
“Our captains said as much today, that this was going to be a turning point,” Janney Misselhorn said. “We just can’t come out flat in the first half and expect to get an easy win. It’s a good learning experience to know that we have to play at our best to get the wins.”
The Hoosiers return to action Friday against Stanford as part of the Hoosier Invitational, a tournament Janney Misselhorn has been anticipating as an exciting component to the IU schedule.
“We’re excited about the opportunity this tournament weekend brings,” Janney Misselhorn said. “After our showing against Louisville, we know that we’re capable of playing with top-ranked teams. Stanford’s smart passing style is a perfect matchup for us, so it’s a great opportunity to improve our hockey and get two wins at home.”
IU will round out the Invitational by playing St. Francis University on Sunday.