The IU field hockey team took down Ball State University 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Goals from senior captains Kelsey Giese and Ciara Girouard won the game for the Hoosiers.
Ball State scored early, with junior midfielder Rachel Pereira scoring five minutes into the game. IU’s offense was stagnant in the early going, and it led to a score for Ball State, putting IU down quickly.
Neither offense was able to get momentum, even after the opening goal, and this was due to both teams’ defensive effort, especially in the second half. Both IU and Ball State forced many mistakes, and neither of the teams were consistently in control of the ball.
Both of IU’s goals came off of defensive plays that were able to produce a counterattack, including Giese’s equalizer with five minutes to go in the first half. IU pressured Ball State’s midfielders and forced a turnover in the circle while Giese sent the ball past Ball State goalkeeper Grace Chavez for her first goal of the season.
Giese led the Hoosiers with her goal, four total shots and the assist on Girouard’s game winner. IU sophomore goalkeeper Sachi Ananias ended the game with five total saves, including three in the fourth quarter, when Ball State took shot after shot, piling up 11 shots and 10 corners in the last 15 minutes.
IU head coach Kayla Bashore was impressed with the defensive effort after her team gave up 13 goals in its first three matches of the season. She mentioned that the improvement was imperative moving forward, coming off of the game Friday against Miami University where Ananias and IU’s defense allowed five goals.
IU’s offense struggled for most of the game, only getting five shots on goal all day. Although it resulted in victory against Ball State, Bashore was adamant that an offensive showing like that would not end in the same result during conference play.
“We need to focus more on finishing the plays that we create for ourselves," Bashore. "We can’t put all this effort into making good runs and not finishing at the end.”
The win for the Hoosiers is their sixth straight over the Cardinals, and they now move on to St. Louis, where they will take on Saint Louis University and Fairfield University next weekend in their last two games before starting Big Ten play against Michigan State Sept. 20 in East Lansing.
The game was sloppy, but IU goes into its first road trip of the season with a 2-2 record, and Bashore was encouraged by the effort her team put in.
“We needed the momentum," Bashore. "I think we could have finished the game and had a bit more organization in the fourth quarter, but it’s good to walk away with a win. But there is also a lot of things for us to continue to work on.”