The IU field hockey team traveled to Central Michigan University on Friday. The Hoosiers — coming into the match with a 35-day streak without winning — and the Chippewas, who hadn’t won a match in 53 days, faced off in a meaningful game that had the opportunity to turn around both clubs’ seasons.
In the opening minutes, Central Michigan struck first. Junior forward Callie Quinn gave the Chippewas the lead with her first goal of the season.
In the second quarter, IU senior midfielder Jessica Morford found the back of the cage to equalize the score going into halftime. It was Morford’s third career goal and her first this season.
Although IU dominated Central Michigan in shots, 9-4, the game was still tied at the break due to great goalkeeping from CMU’s senior goalkeeper Abigail Ebersol. She recorded six total saves in the first half.
In the second, IU continued to attack, and it paid dividends when sophomore forward Hailey Couch found the goal to put IU ahead in the 36th minute. It was her team-leading ninth of the season.
Sophomore midfielder Maddie Boehm added another before the Chippewas cut the lead in half with 10 minutes left in the match. IU sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Querry’s two fourth quarter saves preserved the 3-2 final scoreline, as the Hoosiers won for the first time since their last trip to Michigan, where they came away with a 4-2 win over Michigan State on Sept. 20.
IU has now topped last season’s win total, sitting at 5-11 overall on the year.
That win over the Spartans for the Hoosiers was vital because it is the reason that they have any shot at making the Big Ten Tournament. IU travels to Evanston to take on No. 10 Northwestern next Friday, which is effectively a must-win game for them.
Along with a win over Northwestern, IU needs Ohio State — who also has one conference win — to lose to both Penn State and Michigan State for it to squeak into the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 7 seed.
Without all three of those results, IU’s season will end in Evanston, Illinois, next Friday. IU was able to end one of its winning droughts, and its season depends on them doing the same next Friday in a hostile environment.