Tyler Poslosky

The schedule hasn't been in Ball State's favor this season. After arguably its worst outing of the season, a 5-1 defeat to Central Michigan, a bigger and stronger opponent is up next.

Putting Mid-American Conference play on pause, the Cardinals (1-7) will welcome the Ohio State Buckeyes to Muncie for a 3 p.m. game.

Ohio State is the fourth of six Big Ten games the Cardinals will play this season. Ball State has not won against Big Ten opponents this season and it still has to play Michigan State and Iowa.

Ohio State extended its winning streak to three games after a 2-1 upset of No. 11 Michigan Friday. The Cardinals also went head-to-head with the Wolverines, but suffered a 5-0 loss in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sept. 17.

The Buckeyes will bring a high-powered offense this afternoon and if the Cardinals aren't careful, it could turn into another ugly defeat. Ohio State has four players who have recorded 20 or more shots this season. As a group, the Buckeyes have totaled 141 shots, scoring 17 goals.

Junior forward Berta Queralt leads the team with seven goals and 16 points on the season. Fellow junior forward Danica Deckard has tallied four goals and a team-high 38 shots for the Buckeyes.

Ball State won't be the only MAC opponent Ohio State has played this season. On Aug. 31, the Buckeyes were defeated 2-1 by Ohio — a MAC opponent the Cardinals will face this weekend.

Ball State will rely on senior captains Devanny Kuhn, Gretchen Lulow and Katie Norris to lead the way. Kuhn has recorded two goals for the season and a team-high 32 shots, while Lulow netted her first score of the season versus the Chippewas Saturday.

Norris serves as the leader for defense and it's imperative for her to communicate with the younger, inexperienced defenders, especially with the heavy dose of shots they will face.

After coach Beth Maddox labeled Ball State's latest loss to Central Michigan as a "lazy" and "effortless" contest, the Cardinals will be ready to redeem themselves against the Buckeyes.