Iowa field hockey to clash with Indiana

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Iowa field hockey to clash with Indiana

Iowa field hockey players face off against the University of New Hampshire on Sunday, 10 September, 2017. Iowa defeated UNH by a final score of 7-1. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa field hockey players face off against the University of New Hampshire on Sunday, 10 September, 2017. Iowa defeated UNH by a final score of 7-1. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

David Harmantas

Iowa field hockey players face off against the University of New Hampshire on Sunday, 10 September, 2017. Iowa defeated UNH by a final score of 7-1. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

Iowa field hockey players face off against the University of New Hampshire on Sunday, 10 September, 2017. Iowa defeated UNH by a final score of 7-1. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)


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After two losses against two Big Ten opponents, Iowa expects a different result from the Indiana game; the players are working on enhancing what they do well and fixing the problems.

By Taylor McNitt  

[email protected]

After a weekend of tough losses against two Big Ten opponents, Hawkeye field hockey has some ground to make up.

Iowa will face Indiana today, and the players expect to make up some of that ground in a 3 p.m. showdown.

“We feel like, player for player, we’re better than Indiana,” said head coach Lisa Cellucci. “But it doesn’t matter. We felt the same way about Rutgers, so we have to make sure we execute all of our set pieces.”

On Sunday, Iowa fell to Rutgers, 1-0, despite its predictions of turning that game into a positive direction.

Since falling to both Maryland and Rutgers, Iowa’s ranking dropped to No. 24.

RELATED: Eastern trip not kind to Iowa field hockey

“[Against Rutgers] we dominated possession; we had probably over 25 circle entries to their five or six, and we just couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Cellucci said. “Against Maryland, we played just a great 57 minutes. We held them scoreless until about eight minutes left to go in the game, and then just had one defensive miscue that led to another goal. We felt really good about that game because we handled their speed, we handled their transition — we just needed a few more offensive opportunities.”

In Cellucci’s eyes, the Hawkeyes have hope, even confidence, in a strong rest of the season. So far, this year’s Big Ten record matches Iowa’s Big Ten record from last season, so the Hawkeyes are certain that the rest of the season holds much to look forward to. They’re confident that they are opponents to be taken seriously, not because of what their record reflects, but what it doesn’t.

Cellucci said defense was the strongest aspect of Iowa’s playing last weekend, but it’s the final third that’s been the trouble. Battling through the inconsistency of the game and putting away the key opportunities for the full 70 minutes will be the key to Iowa’s success.

RELATED: Overtime Big Ten win sparks field

“We’re getting really good at combining our element on the turf, but just finishing off is what we’re struggling with at the moment,” freshman Maddy Murphy said. “We just failed to execute in the circle, which is unfortunate, but we’re still working toward that. Hopefully, this weekend against Indiana, we can put them away.”

Unranked Indiana comes into the weekend with a 5-5 overall record and a 0-2 Big Ten record. Iowa leads overall against Indiana, 19-7. The Hoosiers’ strongest players are senior Maddie Latino, sophomore Ciara Girouard, and senior goalkeeper Katie Johnson.

Iowa sports sophomores Katie Birch and Murphy, senior Mallory Lefkowitz, and senior goalkeeper Katie Jones, who all match or top the individual stats of Indiana’s top players.

So Cellucci is right — by the stats, player for player, Iowa is the better team.

But that doesn’t guarantee a win.

“We’re definitely upping the intensity; we know it’s going to be a strong game, and we have to come out hard against [Indiana],” said Birch. “It’s just remembering who we’re playing for and what we’re playing for, that we can still come back from our losses, and that it’s not the end of the competition yet.”