It wasn’t the weekend that IU field hockey envisioned.
Two 4-0 defeats in the cold rain dampened a chance at upset victories and the chance to send their seniors out on top in their final home match.
This week, IU gets a fresh chance and an opportunity to get a better start than it had last weekend when Maryland scored 12 seconds into the first match of the weekend.
“We need to have a stronger start,” senior Nora Aucker said. “Getting scored on in the first couple of seconds is just not good. We picked it up right after that, but it’s just getting a better start and being more consistent after that.”
Getting a stronger start goes along with improving the offense — an aspect the team has struggled with throughout the entirety of the season. On Sunday, IU had a solid offensive second half in terms of creating opportunities, but once again, it couldn’t find the net.
“We’re getting these good opportunities,” Aucker said. “We’re finding good attack patterns and getting outcomes like corners but we really just need that finishing piece.”
IU will head to State College, Pennsylvania, for its lone match this weekend. Penn State is the only team to beat Maryland this season and has been effective on the offensive end, especially with penalty corners.
In order to match the effort that Penn State gives, IU will have to be strong from the corner.
“This week we’ve been working on fine tuning our corners and making sure we’re getting those chances into points on the board,” IU Coach Amanda Janney Misselhorn said.
Penn State will be IU’s final regular season game. After that, IU will play Michigan State in the No. 8 versus No. 9 game which has been locked in. That means two guaranteed games this season, which is something that Aucker said she preaches to this team as they head down the stretch.
"I’ve been telling the team, and we’ve had meetings about this, but it’s just one game at a time,” Aucker said. “But after Friday, it’s win or go home, and it’s going to be whoever plays the best that given day.”
IU’s match with Penn State will start at 6:00 p.m.