IU field hockey enters its Friday matchup against Miami University with momentum. The team took care of business last weekend in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, with wins over Central Michigan University and Davidson University.
Over the weekend, the Hoosiers were able to get off to hot starts, scoring quick goals in both of their contests. Senior forward Hailey Couch explained how important attacking and scoring quickly is for the Hoosiers.
“I think that is something we struggled with in years past and seeing the growth of our team and being able to come out in the first few minutes and put away a goal lifts our spirits and gets the energy higher,” Couch said.
In IU’s first game against Central Michigan, Couch scored a goal in the 32nd minute, which proved to be the game winner. This was Couch’s first game back on the pitch in over a year. Couch said she was thrilled to finally be back out on the pitch with her teammates.
“I think the best way to put it is that I was super excited,” Couch said. “I’ve seen how hard the girls have worked in the offseason, and to be able to join this new team was phenomenal.”
While the Hoosiers enjoyed their first 2-0 start since 2014, they’re ready to shift focus to the next game.
“We were super excited, but I think we immediately wanted to focus on our next competition because we have so much potential this year with this team,” Couch said after the win.
Next on IU’s schedule is the reigning Mid-American Conference champions Miami University.
This will be the Hoosiers’ first tough test of the season as they square off against the Redhawks. The Redhawks finished the 2021 season 13-2, posting a 10-0 record in conference play.
The Redhawks, who ranked No. 5 in the country at the end of the last season, have six athletes who earned All-MAC accolades last year returning to the 2021 roster.
However, Miami of Ohio has suffered losses in its first two games this season. In a weekend trip to Evanston, Illinois, Miami first fell to the University of Connecticut then allowed six goals in a loss to Northwestern.
IU head coach Kayla Bashore is looking forward to her team playing the Redhawks. As the Hoosiers look to improve to 3-0, Bashore thinks it will be the Hoosiers’ defense that will be the deciding factor.
“Going back to our defensive structure and discipline, that is going to be our mantra for the year,” Bashore said. “It will be a really good test for us against Miami, who is a very experienced team.”
The Hoosiers and Redhawks last played each other in September of 2019, ending in a Hoosier defeat 2-5. The game will be played at 2 p.m. Friday in Oxford, Ohio.