The Indiana field hockey team will close its three-game homestand at noon Friday in Bloomington against 2-12 Saint Louis before it hits the road to play a 6-9 Ohio University squad at 11 a.m. Sunday in Athens, Ohio.
With only three games left to play before the Big Ten Tournament, the Hoosiers are building momentum into the postseason. This season Indiana has taken down two ranked teams — Miami University and Ohio State.
Last Friday, the Hoosiers dominated from start to finish against Michigan State, which came into the match with a 7-3 record.
Senior midfielder Mary Kate Kesler said the win on Friday gave the team much-needed confidence heading into the last part of the season.
“We know that we’re capable of competing against the best teams in the country,” Kesler said. “I think that just gave us a lot of confidence that we needed going into the last part of the season.”
Indiana’s win over Michigan State was a record-setting day in Bloomington.
Led by freshman goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge, the Hoosiers posted their sixth clean sheet of the season, setting a program record for most shutouts in a season in their 5-0 win. Freshman midfielder Kira Curland also recorded her sixth goal of the season, tying her for the conference lead in goals scored among freshmen players.
Kesler is optimistic about the future of the program with an impactful freshman class that included Curland and Loveridge.
“It’s great to see, and it gives me so much hope and promise for the future of the program,” Kesler said. “It’s already going in a great direction and with their talent and as they grow into leaders, I know that we’re going to keep seeing a lot more program records being broken.”
The future looks bright for the Hoosiers, but they remain focused on this season.
The Hoosiers hold an 8-8 overall record going into Friday’s matchup against the struggling Billikens. The Hoosiers will look to build on the offensive output they have recorded in their last two matchups.
Indiana scored a combined eight goals against the pair of Michigan teams last weekend after struggling on the offensive end of the field earlier in the season.
“I think that when our offense and defense are on the same page, both sides are locked in, I think we are a very dangerous team,” Kesler said.
After its matchup with Saint Louis, Indiana will look to continue its run of success against Ohio, as both of the team’s previous ranked wins have come on the road in the state.
Ohio will be the second-to-last stop on the Hoosiers’ schedule before Big Ten Tournament play.
“We’re still trying to take it one game at a time. We’re not trying to think too far ahead,” Kesler said. “Once it's tournament time, it's anyone’s game. Whoever shows up to play that day and wants to take the win is going to do that.”