The IU field hockey team fell to No. 14 Ohio State 6-2 on Sunday at the IU Field Hockey Complex. The final score appeared more lopsided than the game actually was, as the Hoosiers were tied with the Buckeyes at one goal each going into the fourth quarter.
Junior goalkeeper Sachi Ananias kept the Hoosiers in the game with double digit saves, racking up 13, a season high. Along with Ananias, the defense across the field was aggressive for the Hoosiers; they were flying around and intercepting passes to create chances off the counterattack. As the game went on, the IU defense began to slow down, and passing lanes opened up for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes' five fourth-quarter goals are tied for the most goals in a quarter for them this season, and they also scored five goals in the third quarter in a 11-0 win over Central Michigan University. It is also the most goals the Hoosiers have given up in a quarter this season.
IU head coach Kayla Bashore said she was proud of her team’s efforts, up until the barrage of goals in the fourth.
“We played well," Bashore said. "Ultimately, it comes down to finishing the game the way we started.The defense played well, but finding that last push is what we need to compete against great teams like Ohio State. They took advantage as soon as we started to slow down. That’s what the great teams do.”
A bright spot for the Hoosiers was the counterattack the defense produced. Halfway through the fourth quarter, sophomore forward Hailey Couch forced a turnover in Ohio State’s defensive zone, sprinted around an Ohio State player and dropped the ball off to senior midfielder Kelsey Giese for her second goal of the day to cut the lead to 3-2.
“Kelsey and Hailey are leaders on this team,” Bashore said. “When we need to find a goal, the offense is designed to get the ball to them. They are the girls we look to in tough games like this one.”
Ohio State also dominated the stat sheet, getting off 34 total shots to IU’s five. The Buckeyes also drew 11 corners, although no goals came of it.
The Buckeyes move to 5-3 and 2-1 in the conference, and the Hoosiers fall to 4-5 and 1-2 in the conference.
Bashore said the team needs to review the game and take lessons learned from this game into its next matchup.
“Even though they have struggled, they are just as capable as the other teams in this conference, and if we dwell on the past, any team in the Big Ten can blow you out," Bashore said. "For us, it's just getting back to work and looking ahead to Penn State."