After finishing its season with a 10-9 record, Indiana field hockey earned the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and a date with the second-seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights at 2 p.m. Thursday in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The Hoosiers come into the matchup fresh off a defeat against the No. 6 Northwestern Wildcats by a score of 6-0. Northwestern earned the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament.
Senior forward Peyton Becker said after the game that Northwestern’s offense is one of the best in the country and can attack in a variety of ways.
“Northwestern’s offense is just so lethal,” Becker said. “Maddie Zimmer is one of their top players, and I have a lot of respect for her.”
Indiana field hockey: Northwestern’s offense proves too much for Indiana in season finale, lose 6-0
Zimmer, a sophomore midfielder, scored two goals in the game Sunday, giving her a total of seven goals on the season.
Sunday marked only the fifth time Indiana has been held scoreless through 60 minutes of play. Becker attributed the slow offensive output to the tenacity Northwestern played with and its ability to create turnovers.
Their loss snapped a two-game win streak, but Thursday presents an opportunity on the biggest stage for the Hoosiers to start fresh.
“We faced ups and downs this season, but I think the most important thing that coach has mentioned is just sticking together through it all,” Becker said.
Rutgers and Indiana met earlier this season — a 1-0 double-overtime loss for Indiana.
The Scarlet Knights out shot the Hoosiers 16-3 and earned 13 more penalty corners, however, it was the performance of freshman goalkeeper Arabella Loverdige that kept the Hooseirs in the game.
Loveridge tallied seven saves before eventually giving up the game-winning goal in extra time.
The Hoosiers have already made a significant turnaround after finishing 1-14 last season and the future looks bright, but Becker said the work this season isn’t finished just yet.
“We still got room to grow, we still got more progress to make and we still have more work to put in,” Becker said. “We aren't done yet.”
Becker said that this game is a chance for the hard work the team has put in all season to pay off. Becker said the keys to success for the Hoosiers are having a good attitude and enjoying the experience, along with working hard when they take the field.
“Having a good attitude and just enjoying our experience at the Big Ten Tournament, but also, putting in the hard work when we get out there is going to be key for us this week,” Becker said.
For Rutgers, they earned wins over then-No. 3 Northwestern, then-No. 4 Penn State and then-No. 21 Ohio State en route to a 15-3 overall record. Rutgers ended the season winning five of its last six games and only allowed a total of five goals during that span.
The Hoosiers faceoff against the Scarlet Knights at 2 p.m. Thursday in Piscataway, New Jersey. For Becker and the rest of the Hoosiers, they feel they aren’t done yet.
“We’ve come this far, not to have just come this far,” Becker said.