After starting the season 3-0, Indiana field hockey dropped two of its last three games, but the team is looking to regain some of that early season success Friday against No. 2 ranked Iowa and Sunday against the University of Richmond.
Indiana has had one home game, and with the chance to play on familiar turf, head coach Kayla Bashore believes playing at home for a few games can get Indiana back to playing winning ball.
“It’s a really exciting time because anytime you can play at home, you have that environment, you have the home field and get to take advantage of that,” Bashore said.
One year ago, the Hoosiers found themselves sitting at the bottom of the Big Ten standings. This season, the Hoosiers find themselves contending in the conference.
The Hoosiers have won games this season they may have not pulled out last year, such as the shootout win against Central Michigan or the tight 1-0 win over Miami of Ohio.
Junior midfielder Kennedy Reardon attributes last year's tough sailing to this year's early season success.
“Coming out of last year, which was not the season that we wanted, definitely made us grow as a team,” Reardon said.
Indiana will continue its competitive schedule this week as they prepare for Iowa and Richmond.
Friday’s game will be between a defensive-minded Indiana team and Iowa’s strong offense. Indiana is tied for second among NCAA Division 1 teams for the most shutout wins with three. Iowa is ranked second in the nation in both scoring average, 5.57 goals per game and scoring margin which is at 4.89.
Freshman goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge, who anchors the Hoosiers defensive lineup, has produced two shutouts this season. Bashore explained the significance of having such consistency at the goalkeeping position.
“She provides a lot of high quality experience,” Bashore said. “I think her confidence is growing by the day and she is getting more comfortable with the defense she is surrounded with.”
After the Iowa matchup, Indiana has a quick one day turnaround before it squares off against Richmond.
Richmond comes into Sunday’s matchup with a loss versus Miami of Ohio. This loss puts Richmond at a record of 0-5.
Reardon said the week in between Indiana’s last games has been important in order for the Hoosiers to regather themselves and get back to their principles. The Hoosiers have prided themselves on their defensive principles and being able to stick together as a unit.
“We really have been emphasizing playing together as a unit and reaching the standard that we have been setting,” Reardon said.
The Hoosiers and Hawkeyes play at 3 p.m. Friday at the IU Field Hockey Complex. Indiana plays Richmond 12 p.m. Sunday at the IU Field Hockey Complex.