FIELD HOCKEY: Cardinals optimistic despite weekend blowout losses
Ball State falls to 1-10 after pair of MAC defeats
As her team departed Muncie en route to Ohio, coach Beth Maddox was confident in coming away with two victories over Mid-American Conference foes Ohio and Kent State.
"We are excited to play Ohio and Kent [State]," Maddox said, prior to this weekend's games. "They are both good teams and we know if we play well, we can come home with two wins. As long as we compete and play together, I have no doubts that we can come away with two wins."
Though Maddox wasn't available for comment following this weekend's play, assistant coach Jacque DeMarco said the team gained a good amount of confidence and experience despite the negative outcome.
"We entered the weekend as ready as we could be," DeMarco said. "Our team is gaining a lot of experience and getting ready for the MAC tournament."
After focusing on playing together and supporting each other during practice last week, the Cardinals self-destructed.
The two-game began in Athens, Ohio, when the Cardinals squared off with the Bobcats. Ohio notched its 10th win of season after defeating Miami on Sunday. Arguably the best team in the MAC, the Bobcats bullied the Cardinals in a 9-1 blowout Saturday afternoon at Pruitt Field.
Less than two minutes into the game, Ohio junior Taylor Brown netted her eighth goal of the season to open a flood of scoring. Less five minutes later, Brown added her second score of the game and ninth of the season. Junior Cathryn Altdoerffer recorded a hat trick after netting two scores in the first 35 minutes and a third goal in the second half. Senior Brooke Edwards also tallied two scores for the Bobcats.
After allowing five consecutive goals, Ball State freshman goalkeeper Haley Fusting was benched in favor of senior Chelsea Mitchell. The change did little for the Cardinals as Mitchell surrendered four goals.
Down by nine goals, the Cardinals finally got on the scoreboard when senior forward Devanny Kuhn scored on a two-on-one fast break. It was Kuhn's first goal in two games. In addition, Kuhn recorded all four shots for Ball State.
The Cardinals' form carried over to Sunday as the defending MAC champion Kent State defeated the battered Cardinals 4-1.
Mirroring Ohio, Kent State put the game out of reach in the opening half, scoring all four of their goals. After jumping to a two-goal lead, Kent State senior forward Debbie Bell received a pass from sophomore midfielder Alyssa McFerren and found the back of the cage for her 11th score of the season. Bell added her second and team-leading 12th goal after coming away with the ball in front of the Ball State goal.
Once again, the Cardinals found themselves down by a large deficit before recording their first goal. Kuhn, who was the only offensive source for Ball State, netted her team-leading fourth score of the season at the 61-minute mark. Freshman midfielder Tori Widrick was credited with her first-career assist on the play.
In the two games it played, Ball State was heavily overmatched. The Cardinals were outscored a combined 13-to-2, outshot 37-to-10 and were beaten 18-to-four on penalty corner kicks.
Demarco said she hopes the team will take away the scarce amount of positives and carry them over to Wednesday's game against Miami.
The losses leave the Cardinals with a conference record of 1-3.
Ball State will try to snap its four-game losing skid when it travels to Oxford, Ohio on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game against MAC rival Miami, who it shutout 3-0 at the BSU Turf Field on Sept. 21.