Bell’s squad plays Purdue

By Chris Sigley

Inconsistency and basic skill mistakes have plagued the NIU field hockey team lately.

If it finds a cure before Friday, it should have a good chance to win both matches against Ohio and Purdue this weekend.

“Purdue is a very tough team—they’re presently ranked in the nation, and we aren’t any more,” said head coach Laurie Bell. “The very basic mistakes have been hurting us.

“We need to get off good drives and make good stops. Our defense has to play better and our midfield has to struggle on attack.”

The mistakes and the team’s 3-7-1 record can be attributed to the inexperience of a young team. The Huskies start six or seven freshmen every game.

“We’re expected to make mistakes with our inexperience,” Bell said. “We’re playing inconsistently, but with each game we’re learning more and more. That’s what’s most important.”

The Huskies look to bounce back from losses to Toledo and Kent State last weekend, in which they were defeated 2-1 and 2-0, respectively.

“Toledo was quicker than we were, and they literally ran by us,” Bell said. “We didn’t play consistently, and we just didn’t play them smart.

“We were pretty evenly matched against Kent State, and we didn’t play that poorly. But we had some critical errors that cost us the game.”

Bell is not disappointed with the team’s play, just with the outcome of the scores.

“There’s a lot of games we should have won,” Bell said. “I’m not upset with them. We just need to improve our game.”

Game time for the Huskie is 1 p.m. Saturday against Ohio and 11 a.m. Sunday versus Purdue. Both games will be played at Purdue.