Indiana field hockey played three games over the long weekend, picking up wins over Miami University and Bellarmine University and losing its first game of the season at the hands of Lafayette College.
After starting the season 2-0, Indiana field hockey looked for three in a row against Miami on Friday.
Indiana’s offensive firepower was the storyline in its first two wins of the season, racking up seven combined goals. However, the game proved to be a defensive battle against the RedHawks.
Both teams played stingy defense, leading to a halftime score tied at zero. The Hoosiers with three shots and Redhawks with two shots both had their fair share of chances in the first half, but goalie play left the teams without anything to show on the scoreboard.
In the 35th minute of the game, freshman defender Yip van Wonderen connected with senior forward Hailey Couch who found the back of the net for the opening goal of the afternoon. It was Couch’s second goal of the season that put Indiana in the lead.
Miami had an opportunity in the 52nd minute to tie the game up, but freshman goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge made a save to preserve the lead. The Hoosiers hung on for a 1-0 victory.
Indiana then took to the pitch Sunday to play Lafayette in Columbus, Ohio.
The Leopards entered the game ranked 14th in the country in goals scored per game. After Sunday, they would move up the charts with a four-goal offensive performance.
It started in the first period as senior forward Molly McAndrew scored in the third minute of the game.
Indiana was only able to get four shots off in the first half, relying on its defense to move the ball to the offense. Indiana never managed to clear the ball and Lafayette was on attack mode the whole match.
The Leopards recorded ten shots in the second period, putting the Hoosiers on their heels defensively. Lafayette had seven penalty corner opportunities in the second period and scored on one to extend the lead to two goals.
The Hoosiers had opportunities late in the first half by both freshmen midfielders Maggie Carter and Kira Curland, but the Hoosiers were unable to execute and went into the break down 2-0.
The second half wasn't much better. Indiana was unable to record a shot in the third period, while Lafayette scored a third goal in the opening minutes of the second half to create even more separation.
Lafayette would end up scoring one more goal in the fourth period, leading to a 4-0 win over the Hoosiers.
Indiana had one more game on the weekend slate against Bellarmine to bounce back from their first loss on the season. In their first home game of the year, Curland said the Hoosiers enjoyed having a crowd to cheer them on.
“I didn’t expect so many people to be out here,” Curland said. “We felt really supported and it was fun to finally play at home.”
Indiana started the scoring off in the 11th minute when sophomore midfielder Anna Gwiazdzinski found the back of the cage.
Later in the first period, van Wonderen zipped a pass to Curland, who scored her first of two goals on the day.
The Hoosiers tallied nine total shots on goal in the first period. Head coach Kayla Bashore was pleased with her team's offensive aggressiveness as it alleviated pressure and put it back on the Knights.
Through three quarters the Hoosiers led 2-0.
With four minutes left in the game, deep in Bellarmine’s territory, Curland punched her second goal of the game home and extended Indiana’s lead. This would be the last score of the game, and the 3-0 victory improved Indiana’s record to 4-1 on the season.
Kesler said the Hoosiers were able to learn from the Lafayette loss and move on to the next game.
“We talked about that and we didn't want yesterday to be a defining moment in the season,” Kesler said. “We are taking things day by day and take wins like this and build on it.”
The Hoosiers look to continue their early season winning momentum against Louisville University when the teams play at 6 p.m. Friday in Louisville.