It was another home game filled with missed opportunities and costly mistakes for Indiana field hockey that led to another narrow loss, this time against No. 5 University of Louisville, 1-0. This marks the third loss for the scuffling Hoosiers in the last four games.
A big key to the game was the Louisville defense. The Cardinals were able to keep Indiana out of the arc for most of the game. In fact, the Hoosiers rarely maintained possession in the opponent’s half of the field, with turnovers plaguing the team, while the Cardinals did a great job of winning the possession battle.
Louisville held the Hoosiers to just one corner for the entire game, which is where the bulk of their scoring comes from. The Cardinals also held them to zero shots in the first half and five for the game. This marks the third straight home game where the Hoosiers have been shut out. This has been a key trend for much of the season, as the Hoosiers rank last in shots attempted and second to last in goals in the Big Ten.
Junior goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge once again kept the team in the game, with critical saves on Louisville corners, as she was bombarded with shots for most of the second half. The goalkeeper finished with six saves on the day, putting the keeper in the top five in the Big Ten in saves per game at 3.67. However, Loveridge could not stop a fourth quarter Louisville corner that was initially denied twice by Loveridge and redshirt senior back Sydney Keld, but eventually put in the back of the net by the Cardinals.
Indiana was able to respond with a corner of their own, but its shot was denied by Louisville graduate student goalkeeper Merlijn van der Vegt. Indiana wasn’t able to replicate another chance to tie the game late in the fourth.
Indiana’s loss is just another mark in what has been one of the toughest two weeks of matchups in the nation, with three out of the last four games being against top-15 teams, with another top-15 matchup upcoming against No. 6 Iowa on Oct. 13. The Hoosiers will try once again to take down one of the country’s best at 3 p.m. Friday at Deborah Tobias Field.
The schedule then temporarily eases up with a matchup against Ball State University on Oct. 15, a team that the Hoosiers are 20-5 against since 2000. The Hoosiers then quickly return to Big Ten play with matchups against Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State for the home stretch of the season.
Follow reporter Matt Rudella (@mattrudellaIDS) for updates throughout the Indiana field hockey season.