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IU field hockey has a tough challenge in Big Ten play



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Now-senior midfielder Andi Jackson hits the ball past a Michigan State player Oct. 6 at the IU Field Hockey Complex. The Hoosiers lost against Miami University on Friday, 5-2. IDS file photo and Anna Tiplick Buy Photos

The IU field hockey team looks to improve upon its 1-7 conference record from last season. 

However, the Hoosiers will face at least seven of their eight Big Ten opponents which are ranked in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Top 20.

No. 7 Michigan Wolverines

Michigan is ranked seventh in the country. After a loss to the top team in the country, University of North Carolina, Michigan shut out No. 10 Wake Forest in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines made the regional finals in last year’s NCAA tournament,. They will travel to Bloomington on Sept. 27.

No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State returns five seniors from last year’s 12-8 team. The Buckeyes defeated the Hoosiers in Columbus, Ohio 1-0 last season, beginning a stretch where they won seven of their last 10 games. This year, the Buckeyes have started with a 7-0 win over the University of Massachusetts and a 3-2 win over No. 23 Boston University. IU will take on Ohio State at the IU Field Hockey Complex on Sept. 29.

No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions

The Nittany Lions come to Bloomington on Oct. 4, bringing with them some young talent. Even with the loss of nine seniors, Penn State comes into this season ranked No. 9 in the country, thanks in large part to its recruiting class. Freshman forward Paityn Wirth was a high school All-American and brings big expectations to the team. Penn State looks to return to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive time this November.

No. 19 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Scarlet Knights compiled a 13-5 regular season record in 2018, including a win against IU on senior day. The team earned an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, the first one for the program since 1986. Top goal scorer and assister Daphne Groothius graduated, but First Team All-Big Ten goalkeeper Gianna Glatz returns for her junior season. IU will travel to Piscataway, New Jersey, on Oct. 11.

No. 2 Maryland Terrapins

Coming off of a Big Ten championship and a national championship game appearance. Sophomore forward Bibi Donraadt, who lead the team in points and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, returns to College Park, Maryland for her second season. When IU played Maryland last, it could not get one shot off in a 4-0 loss during Homecoming weekend. IU looks to take down the defending champs Oct. 13 when it travels to Maryland.

No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa comes off of their 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance, where they lost to eventual Final Four team Wake Forest in the first round. The Hawkeyes have already avenged that game, defeating Wake Forest in its opening game of the season 2-1. Junior forward Maddy Murphy comes back after leading the team in goals points, and game winners last season. The Hawkeyes visit on senior day, Oct. 18 in Bloomington.

No. 15 Northwestern Wildcats

IU closes out its regular season in Illinois to take on Northwestern, who just missed out on the NCAA Tournament last season. Senior back Kirsten Mansfield returns from leading the team in assists from the defensive end and was named to the Big Ten Preseason Watch List. Under head coach Tracey Fuchs' direction, the Wildcats have posted winning records in nine of the past 10 seasons. IU travels on Nov. 1 to Northwestern.

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