Field Hockey Starts Preseason Practices
Aug. 15, 2007
The Indiana field hockey team has completed the first week of their preseason practices, and head coach Amy Robertson feels like the team has gotten started on the right foot.
"I am really pleased with the intensity at practices," Robertson said. "We haven't had the traditional "bad practice" that you get when the players are mentally and physically fatigued. But I think effort and intensity has been at the level that we are looking for."
Robertson points to a couple of factors that may have helped contributed to the increased intensity and focus so far.
"There has been a lot of good, new energy at practice for a couple of reasons," said Robertson. "First, we are at our new facility. It is a beautiful facility and performs really well and it's so refreshing to be outside. The other component that is driving the team is the staff. Assistant coaches Jeremy Cook and Katie Jo Gerfen came here in the spring. I think our staff has worked really well together and I am enjoying every practice. We just feed of each other so well and the team enjoys that and it benefits them."
Another positive sign so far in practice has been the contributions of the incoming freshmen.
"The freshmen have been great. They have come in really prepared, physically, and they have brought a high level of play for freshmen. They have not held us back in practice at all, in fact they have improved the level at practice. You can't ask for anything more when they come in and are able to bring that to the team."
The Hoosiers return 16 players from last year's team that finished 14-5 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten. They earned the second seed in the Big Ten Tournament but were defeated in the first round by Michigan State.
But the seniors have started this season off showing the leadership skills a head coach would want.
"Meredith Brown, Haley Exner and Kate O'Connell have really stepped up vocally. Margie Stoll has come to into the preseason in great shape and really prepared. Erin Isler and Amanda Oyler have also come in and given that experience that we need."
The Hoosiers scrimmage Ball State on Saturday, August 18 in Muncie, Ind. Robertson says the team is ready to compete against someone else to see where they stand after a week of practice.
"We just want to go over there and see where we are," said Robertson. "We have been working on our outleting ability. We are looking to generate ball speed and make good decisions off the ball. We are also looking to open up spaces for us to advance the ball and attack. This will be a good opportunity to work on our press against another team. This scrimmage really comes at a good time for us and should allow for a lot of playing time for everyone."
Indiana will open the regular season August 25 against Pacific at the University of California-Berkeley.
Check back soon