IU field hockey closed out its homestand with a 5-1 defeat by Kent State University on Sunday. The Hoosiers have now lost four straight matches, all at home.
Sunday was senior day for the Hoosiers. The home crowd cheered for seniors Kelsey Giese, Ciara Girouard, Sam Scire, Jessica Morford, Sheridan Weiss, Grace Sensenig and Andi Jackson as they took the field.
The cheers from the crowd quickly turned to groans when the Hoosiers let in three goals in the first 10 minutes of the match, a trend with the team throughout the homestand. The Hoosiers responded with a goal of their own, when Giese found sophomore forward and IU’s leading scorer Hailey Couch for her 8th goal of the season. IU went into the second half with momentum and a chance to respond with a couple of goals.
But much like the first half, Kent State came out attacking in the second, with sophomore forward Luisa Knapp adding a fourth goal.
To add insult to injury the backbone of IU’s defense, junior goalkeeper Sachi Ananias, went down with an apparent head injury after diving for the save and hitting her head on the metal goal posts. IU head coach Kayla Bashore did not have an update after the game, and Ananias's long-term status is unknown.
Sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Querry replaced Ananias , subbing in for the first time this season. She registered three saves in relief, and allowed a fifth goal early in the fourth quarter to junior forward Hallie Balachick, making the final from the IU Field Hockey Complex 5-1 Kent State.
IU was only able to manage two shots on goal to Kent State’s nine, and drew three corners to Kent State’s seven. Five different players scored for the Golden Flashes. Bashore was adamant that the slow starts are a problem that needs to be alleviated.
“We really need to step up in the first couple of minutes and keep the ball out of the circle like we did the rest of the match. " Bashore said. "We can’t dig ourselves into a hole like that and expect to win against anyone,”
The Hoosiers, now at 4-7 on the year, have two road matches next week against Rutgers and Maryland as they race towards the end of their regular season.
As the class of 2020 celebrated their senior day, Bashore wanted to give credit to them for helping her in her first season as head coach.
“They’ve really set some standards that we hope to keep as norms.” Bashore said. “They’ve gotten that hold on the team, and they’ve helped the underclassmen buy into what we’re trying to build here. We’re extremely grateful to have a group of ladies like the seniors we have.”
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