The IU field hockey team started its 2021 campaign with a 3-2 win Friday afternoon on the road against Central Michigan University.
IU scored their first goal in 36 seconds. Freshman midfielder Kira Curland corralled the rebound after a shot on goal and scored her first career goal, giving IU the early lead.
In the opening minutes in the second period, IU was issued a green card leaving Central Michigan with a man advantage. Central Michigan’s freshman forward Kaitlyn Bowker scored from 2 yards out to even up the game.
The Hoosiers scored again soon after. A goal in the 28th minute by freshman midfielder Sofia Arrebola Garci put the Hoosiers back ahead with a 2-1 lead.
Central Michigan would eventually answer with a goal to tie the game up at 2-2 and put the pressure back on IU. A goal by IU senior forward Hailey Couch would prove to be the game-winning goal because IU’s defense did not allow another shot on goal for the rest of the game.
This was Couch’s first game back after taking last season off due to health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19, and IU head coach Kayla Bashore talked about how this team gets better with Couch back on the pitch.
“I think she did a great job on the press and played her role by bringing her intensity to the defensive end,” Bashore said. “Having her back only makes us that much more threatening.”
In the end, the Hoosier’s offensive output was too much for the Chippewas. The Hoosiers recorded 18 shots with 13 shots on goal.
A hard-fought win gave IU momentum going into Saturday's matchup against Davidson University.
IU opened the scoring early again. Just over two minutes into the game, redshirt sophomore back Sydney Keld fired a shot that bounced in off the corner of the goal for an IU early advantage.
Freshman forward Kayla Kiwak added to the lead in the second period to extend the IU lead to 2-0. Curland joined in on the scoring in the third period with an assist from Keld to bring the Hoosiers’ lead to 3-0.
As the third period was coming to a close, freshman midfielder Maggie Carter added to the Hoosier lead on an assist from senior midfielder Mary Kate Kesler to open up the lead to 4-0 for the Hoosiers.
Hoosiers goalkeeper Shannon McNally denied four Wildcat opportunities throughout the game to complete the shutout and the Hoosiers were victorious in a convincing 4-0 win over the Wildcats.
“It was a nice way to start the season, of course with the results, but the thing we are looking for are the things that are leading to the results,” Bashore said. “Our structure in our press, our movement in our outletting, really working on our defensive structure so that we could generate attacking opportunities.”
The Hoosiers saw six different players score over the weekend, including five goals that came off of an assist.
“It demonstrates that we aren’t relying on one person to score goals,” Bashore said. We have scoring threats all over the field. We are scoring corner goals or field goals, so continuing that into next week will be key for us.”
IU looks to keep the momentum going into Friday’s matchup against the reigning Mid-American Conference champions, Miami University. The matchup takes place at 2 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.