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IU field hockey's comeback bid falls short against Ohio



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IU midfielder Mary Kate Kesler rushes toward the ball Sept. 7 at IU Field Hockey Complex. IU lost to Ohio University on Sunday. Joy Burton

In the midst of a seven game losing streak, IU needed one of its leaders to step up to the plate. Senior midfielder and captain Kelsey Giese, in the middle of the chaos, stepped up and took her shot.  

With 30 seconds left in regulation against Ohio University down 1-0, Giese fired a penalty shot past sophomore goalkeeper Nele Graner to find the equalizer for the Hoosiers. The captain gave her team new life after falling behind once again, sending the game to overtime. 

However, nine minutes into the overtime period, senior midfielder Kendall Ballard found her second goal of the afternoon to put away the Hoosiers, ending the comeback. The final score was 2-1, giving Ohio the victory. 

The match was as even as an overtime match should be, with IU getting off 16 shots and nine on goal. Ohio had 19 shots with eight on goal. Both teams drew six penalty corners and were each awarded a penalty shot, which were the first two goals of the match. 

Sophomore forward Hailey Couch had four shots on goal, which is an increase for her, seeing as the volume of shots coming her way was decreasing throughout this losing streak. 

For the Hoosiers, they fall to 4-11 on the season, and it’s the team’s eighth straight loss. IU has two more matches in the regular season, against Central Michigan University and Big Ten foe Northwestern. 

After that, the team moves on to the Big Ten tournament to compete for the automatic NCAA tournament bid that awaits the champion. The way the Big Ten standings currently sit, IU would miss out on that opportunity. The Hoosiers are currently the No.8 seed and only the top-seven teams make the tournament. 

This makes the game against Northwestern on the last day of the regular season a must-win game for IU, who need to add another conference win to its resume to have a chance. The team will first look to Central Michigan, who has struggled against Big Ten opponents this season. Central Michigan is 0-3 against Big Ten competition, with a combined 25-0 goal differential in those three matches.

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