Indiana field hockey battled over the weekend against two ranked opponents to open Big Ten play at home, going 1-1 to notch its first ranked and conference win of the season. Indiana came into the weekend with a 7-4 record and was winless in Big Ten games, but the team beat No. 21 Rutgers 2-0 on Friday to open the weekend slate before losing to No. 6 Penn State 4-0 on Saturday.
Going into Friday’s matchup, one of Indiana’s strong points this season had been its stout defense. On average, Indiana only gives up 1.69 goals per game, ranking seventh best in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights came into Friday’s matchup with three ranked wins on the year, and posed a real threat to Indiana with a 12.6 shots per game average.
However, the Hoosiers came out of the gate with a sense of urgency, especially on the defensive side. Sophomore goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge pitched her fourth clean sheet of the season and her first against a ranked opponent — highlighted by back to back saves to end the first half.
Throughout Friday’s matchup, offense was scarce. Late in the fourth period, the Hoosiers were running out of opportunities in the 0-0 game until sophomore midfielder Sofia Arrebola Garcia gave Indiana the go-ahead goal off of a penalty corner to break the scoring drought.
Just two minutes later, the Hoosiers struck again. In the 56th minute, sophomore defender Yip Van Wonderen put the Scarlet Knights away with her third goal of the season. Indiana’s win 3 is its first against Rutgers since 2016.
[Related: Indiana field hockey wraps up nonconference play with win against Miami University]
Before Friday’s win against Rutgers, Indiana had yet to add a ranked win on its resume, losing in all three chances. The opportunity to face top talent continued for the Hoosiers on Saturday against Penn State — one of five Big Ten teams ranked in the top ten nationally.
The Nittany Lions came into Sunday’s matchup with an 8-2 record, having won seven of their last eight games. On Saturday, Penn State's momentum continued as its offense posed too much of a threat for Indiana.
Penn State had no trouble getting its offense started. After going up 2-0 to end the first quarter, the Nittany Lions showed no signs of slowing down and junior forward Sophia Gladieux put up a hat trick after her third goal early in the fourth period. Gladieux dominated the second half, scoring in both the third and fourth period.
Penn State left Bloomington with a 4-0 win, securing its third shutout win of the season.
The loss put Indiana at 8-5, with a 1-2 record in the Big Ten.
Next up, the team goes on the road to take on Maryland at 6 p.m. Friday. The Hoosiers are 3-2 on the road this year and will look to pick up their second Big Ten win of the season.