After nearly upsetting Northwestern in its conference opener, IU’s 3-0 shutout last weekend at the hands of Iowa left Coach Amanda Janney Misselhorn with more questions than answers heading into this weekend’s nonconference tilt with Miami University.
However, Janney Misselhorn said she left last weekend with some optimism that various sparks in each game would eventually lead to complete performances later in the season.
“I think just starting Big Ten play with two tough, intense games raises our level,” Janney Misselhorn said. “Our competition against Northwestern on Friday showed some sparks of what great hockey we can play. We really showed in that second half that ability to battle back and play hard, so we’ve got to get better each game.
During the second half of the Northwestern game, the IU defense played shutdown field hockey. Looking back, junior Ciara Girouard said she believes the defense was crucial in keeping the Hoosiers in the game and will be important as IU looks to get back in the win column against Miami.
“They had great tackling and great step ups especially against Northwestern," Girouard said about the defense. "Watching video, we tuned in on what we’re doing wrong especially with our transfers. We have to continue to grow.”
The Hoosiers get a break in the busy schedule and conference play with a trip to Oxford, Ohio, to take on the RedHawks. Miami, IU’s only matchup of the week, is a team the Hoosiers defeated by a goal in overtime last year, and it is a matchup that IU has been monitoring closely.
“Everytime we play them it’s a really good match up and a really good battle," junior Andi Jackson said. "You have to respect what they do. At the same time, you have to play hard.”
Janney Misselhorn said she has seen a ton of progress out of IU since the beginning of camp in August but goals have often evaded IU this season.
As the Hoosiers head into Oxford this weekend sitting at 2-6, scoring goals and putting all their attempts in the net will be the key to hitting the winning stride.
“We need to find chances to get on the board, and this will give us a chance to go on the road and put some points up,” Janney Misselhorn said. “I think we’re playing good hockey, we’re just now showing it on the scoreboard, which is frustrating. This will give us a good shot to prove our prowess and have a great game.”
IU’s matchup in Oxford on Sunday and will prelude a weekend trip to Ohio State and Michigan the following week.
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