Matt McKinney

After a 1-1 start to her team's season, Ball State field hockey coach Beth Maddox said her young team will need to incur growing pains before achieving greatness.

"It is a process," Maddox said. "Sometimes it's not as quick - as fast as we would like it to be, but the girls are progressing and that's all we can really ask for."

One player who has progressed since 2011 is sophomore midfielder Tori Widrick.

Widrick scored five goals in 19 games last season. In her first two games this season, Widrick has scored four.

"I've made a big jump," Widrick said. "I feel more comfortable already playing a year of collegiate games. So I'm definitely feeling more comfortable and confident."

Widrick was also quick to talk about her teammates' roles in her offensive output.

"It's not just one person on the field," she added. "It's everyone's goal and responsibility to get the ball in the net."

The Cardinals will need Widrick this weekend as they travel south to play against Davidson at 2 p.m. Sunday. Ball State will then face Louisville at 2 p.m. Monday.

Maddox said Davidson is the team's first focus and it will "go at them with everything we have."

One player the Cardinals will need to worry about on Sunday is Davidson's Anna Davis. Davis, a freshman, has matched Widrick's two-game total of four goals. Davis earned the NorPac East offensive player of the week.

Louisville, the No. 23 team in the nation, will also be a challenge for Ball State. The Cardinals of Louisville are 1-1, having just defeated the Mid-American Conference's own Miami, 3-1.

Maddox said as long as the team competes, she'd be happy.

In spite of the weekend's challenges, Maddox is confident about her team's future.

"Everybody's going to be really surprised at the growth we're going to have at the end of the season," Maddox said.