Indiana Daily Student

IU field hockey gears up for season opener

<p>Senior Jes McGivern moves to pass the ball during the Cream/Crimson Scrimmage on Aug. 22, 2021, at the IU Field Hockey Complex. IU beat Ball State University 4-0 in a preseason exhibition.</p>

Senior Jes McGivern moves to pass the ball during the Cream/Crimson Scrimmage on Aug. 22, 2021, at the IU Field Hockey Complex. IU beat Ball State University 4-0 in a preseason exhibition.

Ahead of their season opener Friday, IU field hockey warmed up for the season with two preseason exhibition matches, beating Ball State University 4-0 before holding its Cream and Crimson game.

IU took the pitch Aug. 20 to square off against Ball State in its first exhibition game. IU took control and never looked back in the shutout win. 

Aug. 22 marked the second and last of Indiana’s exhibition games, where they hosted their Cream and Crimson scrimmage in a final tuneup game. 

IU will begin the season Friday with a trip to Mount Pleasant, Michigan, in a matchup against Central Michigan University beginning at 1 p.m.

Head coach Kayla Bashore was impressed with how the Hoosiers took what they had practiced onto the field over the weekend. 

“We are playing with real unity and having the confidence to play the style we want to play,” Bashore said. “I think it’s coming together very nicely.”

The Hoosiers, led by Bashore in her second year, are poised to improve upon their 2020 season. The team had three players named to the preseason Big Ten Players to Watch List, including senior forward Hailey Couch, freshman midfielder Kira Curland and senior midfielder Mary Kate Kesler.

IU is 9-1 in their all-time record against Central Michigan and is undefeated on the road. Central Michigan also returns their top two goal scorers from last season in sophomore forward Kate Biglin and junior midfielder Alice O’Hagan. 

The Hoosiers look to build off a 1-14 season in 2021 with Bashore leading the way.

Bashore has her eye set on establishing a winning culture with this team. She said it has been something that she has prioritized ever since she stepped into the coaching scene. 

Bashore said it is important for this team to commit to its values in order to have the success it envisions for the upcoming season.

“Going back to our values to continue to save our culture, that is something we have been working on a lot since I first got here,” Bashore said.

The 2021 campaign starts at 1 p.m. Thursday for the Hoosiers.

“I’m excited for this group specifically because I think there was a lot of work that we had to do last spring,” Bashore said. “We as a team went through that adversity, and we’re excited because most of that group is coming back this fall.”

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