FIELD HOCKEY: Ball State dominated by Ohio State
Buckeye's Decker records first half hat trick in Cardinals 5-0 loss
As the national anthem concluded, both teams took the field, only to be delayed because of a missing official. The 12-minute stoppage clearly affected Ball State and coach Beth Maddox was beyond frustrated.
"You never like to mess up the flow," Maddox said. "Everybody has their regiment and routine. You go through it and get ready to play. It does create an annoyance factor more than anything else. It irritated me."
With or without the interruption, the Cardinals couldn't match their opposition.
From the opening draw, Ball State (1-8) was outmatched. The No. 20 Ohio State was bigger, stronger and faster, which resulted in an overwhelming 5-0 defeat for Ball State.
The Buckeyes recorded 17 shots-on-goal compared to just one by the Cardinals. Ohio State's goalkeeper Ally Tunitis did not have a recorded save in the game.
"Obviously Ohio State is a very talented team," Maddox said. "They had a game plan and executed it."
She said the thing keeping the Cardinals from having success is their youth and execution.
"Once again, I think our inexperience has kind of taken over for the moment," Maddox said. "We are lacking discipline and making poor decisions. Defensively, we made poor decisions today and that resulted in a lot of goals."
The Buckeyes took full advantage of the Cardinals' youth, scoring at will and constantly testing the defense and keeping freshman goalkeeper Haley Fusting busy the entire day.
At the 8:17 mark of the first period, junior forward Danica Deckard netted her first of three goals on an unassisted breakaway. Deckard added another score after beating Fusting to a rebound. With a 2-0 advantage, Deckard completed the hat trick by firing a shot through the legs of Fusting.
Maddox said Fusting wasn't on point in the first half and the defense wasn't aggressive.
"We were a bit hesitant and laid off our girls and allowed them to receive," she said. "That's not going to work for us. We're going to be better if we're able to step up and intercept, and at least pressure right away. That caused a lot of problems for us."
The Cardinals improved in the second half and Maddox credited her team for making adjustments, but still couldn't find a way on the scoreboard. With a substantial lead, Ohio State backed off offensively by only scoring one goal in the second half.
"We attempted to do the things we talked about and work on little things," Maddox said. "We did get better. I'll give them [Ohio State] credit, they were working on some things and not pushing as hard as they could have. We did tweak some things and there was some improvement."
After allowing four goals in the first half, Fusting tightened up and made the necessary adjustments following the intermission.
"She's still learning and trying to work on little things," Maddox said. "She definitely made some improvements for the second half. They came at her with some tough shots and she was set for the shots. Hopefully next time we can start where we left off."