In its pair of weekend matches, Indiana field hockey bounced back after a loss against No. 2 Iowa on Friday and pulled out a win over the University of Richmond on Sunday.
Indiana’s match against Iowa marked the first of a three-game home stand. Iowa came into the contest ranked second to only Michigan in goals per game and points per game.
The Hoosiers looked to slow the red hot Hawkeyes, and found success in the first period. The Hoosiers held the Hawkeyes to one penalty corner and the game was scoreless through the first 15 minutes.
Head coach Kayla Bashore said Indiana’s focus on their defensive structure and intensity defending the goal were keys to holding such an offensively skilled team scoreless through the first period of play.
However, Indiana’s defense wasn’t able to keep Iowa off the board much longer.
In the 18th minute, Indiana freshman goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge made a diving save, but the rebound fell in the lap of Iowa senior midfielder Ellie Holley who tapped in the opening goal.
Iowa’s offense would not stop there. Iowa would pour in seven shots in the second period, and just before halftime it added another goal to extend its halftime lead to two goals.
The Hoosiers were held to only one shot at the break as the Hawkeyes dominated the time of possession. The Hawkeyes controlled the tempo of the game and made it hard for the Hoosiers to find any crack in their defense.
The third period displayed the elite defensive play of each team as both were held scoreless.
The Hoosiers earned three consecutive penalty corners in a span of just 40 seconds in the fourth period. All three shots were taken by freshman defender Yip van Wonderen and all were saved by the Hawkeye’s senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire.
Bashore said the Hoosiers’ inability to capitalize on their corners was the reason for their loss.
“I think it's the lapse of certain key moments for us and they’re (Iowa) very opportunistic,” Bashore said. “They are a very good team and take advantage of the opportunities they are given.”
That would be the final push from the Hoosiers, as the Hawkeyes were able to control the ball and make a third goal to put the Hoosiers away.
Iowa improved to 7-0 with the win, and the loss for Indiana marked its second straight after losing their previous game against the No. 6 University of Louisville.
The Hoosiers would have a chance Sunday to redeem themselves against Richmond on Sunday. Richmond entered the game with a 0-5 record, but the Hoosiers did not see them as pushovers.
“Richmond is a really tough team, and we knew going in, it was going to be a battle,” Keld said.
Richmond, eager to get its first win of the season, came out and fought hard against Indiana. Both teams were scoreless through the first half and Indiana was held to a total of three shots.
Indiana’s defense was on par as well, led by freshman goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge. Coming off a career-high six saves against Iowa, Loveridge was able to fend off two more in the first half against Richmond.
Bashorte was not worried about the slow start, as she wanted her team to remain patient.
“We got to continue what we are doing [on offense], we don’t need to change anything because we are still getting those opportunities, we just have to do a better job finishing,” Bashore said.
Those opportunities would come for the Hoosiers in the second half.
In the third period, the flood gates opened. They rattled off nine shots on goal and had seven penalty corners. The Hoosiers were poised for a goal, but great goalkeeping by the Spiders kept the game even at zero.
Entering the fourth period, Indiana maintained its offensive dominance and earned another seven penalty corners. However, Richmond continued to deny Indiana’s scoring chances. It wasn't until the 16th penalty corner when Indiana finally broke through.
Sophomore back Sydney Keld scored off a goalie deflection from a penalty corner from freshman midfielder Sofia Arrebola Garcia. Keld said her team's persistence in the second half finally paid off after three scoreless periods.
“It definitely got a little hectic. We just needed to get our composure, so we just got together and talked it through and were able to put the ball in the goal,” Keld said.
After the win Sunday against Richmond, Bashore said she was impressed with her team’s grittiness and patience on the offensive end to continue seeking penalty corners. Indiana held the shot advantage over Richmond 22-5 and earned 14 more penalty corners.
The Hoosiers were able to hang on the rest of the game and secure a 1-0 victory.They improved to 5-3 with the win.
Indiana looks to knock off the University of Maryland in their Big Ten opener at noon Sept. 24 at the IU Field Hockey Complex in Bloomington.