The IUP Crimson Hawks field hockey team is coming off a crushing 3–0 loss to Mansfield on Tuesday. The Hawks couldn’t quite get their offense going and were outshot on goal 7–1 by Mansfield.
Mansfield is a powerhouse program that has dominated the competition this year with an 8–3 record against their opponents. Tuesday’s win came in no short part to Mansfield’s Marissa Lots, who scored all of Mansfield’s goals.
After the game, defender Emily Opshinsky (freshman, criminology) addressed their offensive struggles against the Mounties.
“I think offensively we couldn’t get any of our corners off, and our fist touch was really off. This really affected the tone of the game.”
This was the latest loss in a string of tough games for IUP. The Hawks have played two consecutive opponents with at least eight wins on the season. In their loss against No. 1-ranked Millersville, the Hawks displayed moments of brilliance defensively and held the Marauders to only one goal.
“To prepare for Millersville, we worked on tactical skills that would be efficient in beating their defense,” Camen Weber (senior, speech and language pathology) said. “Their defense is very compact and puts a lot of pressure on us while transitioning on offense. Overall, we knew it would be a good matchup.”
The Hawks have had moments when they looked stout against tough competition this season. They took down No. 9 Bloomsburg early in the season and limited the No. 1 team in the country to only one goal.
This squad is truly talented, and it has shown at times during the season; however, the Hawks can’t seem to put everything together as they have dropped six out of their last seven matchups.
Recovering from their recent struggles is undoubtedly important to the entire team, Opshinsky said.
“We took time to re-evaluate where we went wrong the past few games and collectively decided that we don’t want our season to end earlier than it should,” Opshinsky said. “These upcoming games, we are really going to focus on communicating, having hard accurate passes and just having each other’s backs and working together on the field.”
The Hawks’ next matchup is against Bloomsburg on Saturday. IUP will look to take advantage of a struggling Huskies squad that has faced many challenges.
This squad has taken time to reflect and are looking to take back their season.