Indiana field hockey faced a big weekend in conference play, matching up against both Michigan teams over the weekend.
On Friday, Indiana’s offense exploded, earning the biggest conference win in program history in the 5-0 victory over Michigan State. Indiana lost to No. 2 Michigan 5-3 on Sunday.
In front of their home crowd Friday, the Hoosiers faced a Spartans team that entered the game with a 7-3 record but was still searching for their first Big Ten win.
The scoring started in the eighth minute when sophomore midfielder Anna Gwiazkzinski tapped a deflected ball out of midair into the goal, giving the Hoosiers an early 1-0 lead.
In the 17th minute, freshman midfielder Kira Curland scored her sixth goal of the season to give the team a 2-0 halftime lead.
Curland’s goal put her tied for first in the conference amongst freshmen for goals scored this season.
“Kira is just so poised, she is so finesse with the ball,” head coach Kayla Bashore said. “She can get the ball in the right space at the right time. In terms of her skills to possess the ball and beat players with her finesse is unbelievable.”
At the break, the Hoosiers had recorded 17 shots and seven penalty corners, putting pressure on the Spartans defense the whole half. The Hoosiers kept things rolling in the second half.
Senior forward Hailey Couch scored her 13th career goal, extending the Indiana lead to three. Couch’s goal moved her into 21st on the all-time goals list in Indiana program history.
Two more goals by sophomore forward Meghan Dillion and senior forward Peyton Becker opened the lead to five and ultimately ended the game.
“I just felt like from the beginning of the game there was this composure about what they were doing,” Bashore said. “They were very intentional and disciplined in the game plan.”
Indiana field hockey produced a season-high total of 30 shots and nine corners in Friday’s win.
“I felt like the game against Michigan State, we were able to complete a full 60 minutes and that was a really nice game for our team,” Bashore said.
A recording setting Friday for Indiana led into a matchup against No. 2 Michigan.
The Hoosiers set the tone early in Sunday’s contest, executing a set piece that ended with sophomore back Sydney Keld giving the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, Indiana freshman defender Yip Van Wonderen scored off another penalty corner, to extend the lead to two goals.
Bashore thought the execution in the team’s corners was a bright spot, and is something they have emphasized going into the matchup.
“That is something we've emphasized as a way to change the momentum in a game,” Bashore said. “You have a game like this one, where you get two chances, you have to take advantage of the two corners you are given.”
A lapse in the defense, gave the Wolverines the break they needed. In the 15th minute, they put away a goal off a penalty corner to shrink the Hoosiers’ lead. Two minutes later, Michigan knocked in another goal to tie the game.
“You come against a team like that, you got to take care of every detail because they will expose you,” Bashore said.
Michigan went on to score three more goals in the second half, making it five by the end of the game.
The Hoosiers would add a goal late, but the Wolverines walked out of the IU Field Hockey Complex with a 5-3 win.
Indiana walks away from the weekend with an 8-8 record and next faces Saint Louis University at noon on Friday, Oct. 22, in Bloomington.