Tyler Poslosky

Following last Sunday's Senior Day 2-1 overtime loss to Ohio, coach Beth Maddox acknowledged her team would correct its mistakes and move forward.

With four days of practice to work out the kinks in preparation for this afternoon's 3 p.m. non-conference finale against Big Ten opponent Iowa, the Cardinals have focused on improving the defensive unit.

"We had a good weekend and with some work, we are expecting to make this weekend even better," Maddox said.

The match against the Hawkeyes serves as an opportunity to accomplish two things for the home team. First, the Cardinals have a chance to defeat a Big Ten opponent for the first time this season. Second, the game against Iowa will enable them to work out all of the kinks for Sunday's Mid-American Conference finale at Missouri State.

"Iowa is a great team," Maddox said. "They are doing really well right now and we want to play against teams like this before the [MAC] tournament."

The Hawkeyes overall record of 13-3 has them ranked as the No. 11 team in the nation.

The Cardinals will also attempt to become the first MAC team to defeat the Hawkeyes, who have gone a perfect 4-0 against the MAC this season, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 20-6.

In reality, Maddox isn't worried about statistics and if her team drops its contest to the Hawkeyes, she won't take it to heart.

What matters most is Sunday, when the Cardinals travel to Springfield, Mo., for a battle against the Bears. The Cardinals took the first meeting 3-2 at the BSU Turf Field on Oct. 9, and are looking to complete the season series sweep.

A win on Sunday and a loss by Miami would hand the Cardinals (4-5) the No. 3 seed heading into the tournament, which begins Thursday in Athens, Ohio.

"We have to win on Sunday," Maddox said. That's all there is to it."