After starting out conference play with a promising performance against Northwestern on Friday, IU field hockey got a big taste of reality Sunday.
IU’s away matchup with Iowa was expected to be difficult but the No. 16 Hawkeyes proved they were every bit deserving of their top-20 ranking, dominating the Hoosiers 3-0.
“Our defense played strong today, made some nice stops,” IU Coach Amanda Janney Misselhorn said in an IU Athletics release. “We just weren’t able to get enough out of our counter attack once we got back on the attack today.”
Iowa’s Mya Christopher gave the Hawkeyes the early advantage in the 12th minute, netting her first goal of the season to break the deadlock.
Christopher’s goal was part of a dominating first half that saw Iowa come up with nine shots and four penalty corners. On the contrast, the Hoosiers were held to neither a shot nor a penalty corner in the first half.
Despite the stat discrepancy, IU saw themselves down only 1-0 at halftime.
Unfortunately for IU, the Hawkeyes picked up right where they left off in the second half. Iowa’s standout attacker Maddy Murphy netted her seventh goal of the season in the 47th minute and Anthe Nijziel picked up her third of the year in the 54th minute, putting the game out of reach for IU.
The Hoosiers were unable to connect passes and shots proved detrimental for IU.
“We need to connect better all over the field whether it’s finding our midfielders, finding our forwards or defense,” graduate defender Elle Hempt said. “We have to be more connected on defense so we aren’t leaving anyone out to dry against solid teams.”
The loss for IU marked its second in conference play and sixth overall on the season, and showed that IU still has a ways to go before being able to compete in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers were outshot 19-1 by Iowa and gave up nine penalty corners.
IU is now 2-2 in Sunday matches, which Hempt said could be a tough day to play on.
“Every team has Sunday games, and we just have to learn to overcome that second part of the weekend and improve,” Hempt said.
IU will be back in action next Sunday as the Hoosiers take a slight break from conference action to travel to Oxford, Ohio, and take on the Miami RedHawks.
IU will be back in conference play Sept. 28 at Ohio State.