FIELD HOCKEY: Ball State draws familiar foe in first round of MAC Tourney
Miami stands as Ball State's first opponent, a team the Cardinals beat two times this season
Ball State's regular season is history. Its about to embark on a journey full of adversity and challenges, starting with a familiar foe.
As the fourth-seeded Cardinals departed from Muncie Wednesday en route to Athens, Ohio, for their first-round dual with fifth-seeded Miami, the message was clear; anything can happen.
"Rankings no longer matter," coach Beth Maddox said. "At this point, it's anybody's game."
Today's game marks the third meeting between the Cardinals and RedHawks this season. The Cardinals took the season series, winning 3-0 on Sep. 21 at the BSU Turf Field and claimed the sweep with a 6-5 victory on Oct. 5, in Oxford.
"We are excited about the opportunity to play Miami," Maddox said. "Miami is a tough team and they play with a lot of emotion. We are going to focus on our game plan. Should be a very intense match."
The game could prove to be an exciting one. Despite the Cardinals winning both regular season wins against their opponent, both teams are evenly matched.
Ball State is averaging 1.58 goals per game as opposed to Miami's 1.60. Furthermore, Ball State is tallying just 9.2 shots per game contrary to Miami's 9.7.
Like a horse darting out of the starting gate, Maddox and her team are ready and fully equipped to fight until they reach the championship.
"The tournament is always exciting," Maddox said. "All year our goal has been to peak at the right time. I am very confident in our team. I know they will play their best tomorrow and it's time for us to step up and compete. These women have worked so hard for so long and I'm ready for them to succeed."
Senior captains Devanny Kuhn and Gretchen Lulow were named to the All-Mid-American Conference teams Wednesday.
Kuhn, who led the Cardinals with six goals in 10 MAC games this season, made first team All-MAC, while Lulow tallied four scores and 15 shots to make the second team All-MAC.