Tyler Poslosky

Much like a season ago when Central Michigan crashed Ball State's Senior Day with a 3-1 victory, Central Michigan showcased a similar performance Saturday.

Ball State (1-7, 1-1) looked sharp in the game's opening minutes, but stumbled the rest of the way.

Coach Beth Maddox was less than impressed with her teams' 5-1 defeat.

"We played lazy," Maddox said. "We played lazily and lacked discipline. When you lack discipline, you do things you normally wouldn't do. We did a lot of things we wouldn't normally do, which caused a lot of problems for us."

After senior captain Gretchen Lulow netted her first goal of the season to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 advantage, the visiting Chippewas dominated by scoring five unanswered goals, coasting to its first Mid-American Conference win of the season.

Following the game, a frustrated Maddox pulled Lulow and fellow senior captain Katie Norris aside for several minutes.

Maddox's body language said it all. While repeatedly shrugging her shoulders at her players, Maddox made her point clear.

"What needs to happen to make people want to fight and play hard?" Maddox asked her two leaders. "[I'm] trying to figure out what else they needed. What other information could we have given [them] to make this better? When we give information, it needs to be received and it wasn't. It was letting them know that we need to be on the same page so that we can be prepared."

When it came down to fighting as a team, the Cardinals didn't show up. Instead, Ball State turned in a rare, uncharacteristic outing.

"We lacked good attitude and we had terrible effort," Maddox said. "If [we] aren't going to bring those everyday, then I can't help. Can't help you, can't be better if we're not going to fight for the ball."

After Lulow's goal, the Cardinals self-destructed in every phase of the game. After tallying three shots in the opening 35 minutes, the Cardinals were outshot nine-to-zero in the second half.

To make matters worse, the Cardinals struggled to contain the Chippewas offense. Central Michigan recorded eight total penalty corners, scoring twice. Ball State failed to produce a goal on their lone penalty corner.

The Chippewas tied the contest at 1-1 after freshman Cayleigh Immelman scored her first of her two goals with just under 24 minutes to play in the first half. Less than 10 minutes later, Immelman netted her second score to give the Chippewas a 2-1 lead. Additional goals from seniors Paulina Lee and Brooke Sihota and freshman Mary Alice Moore sealed the game for Central Michigan.

Even with an extremely young and inexperienced group, Maddox continues to search for answers.

"It's tough when you have a young team because it's a learning experience," Maddox said. "There's going to be a learning curve. They're going to have to figure some things out. The [upperclassmen] needed to step their game up and they didn't do it as a whole. That really hurt us."