Matt McKinney

The Ball State field hockey team needs a break. The Cardinals played four games in two consecutive weekends, but have just one foe this weekend - the Longwood Lancers.

Ball State travels to Longwood for Sunday's game.

"It's going to be nice for the girls," head coach Beth Maddox said of her team just playing one game. "It gives them a bit of a rest and an opportunity to feel like you can go as hard as you can against one team and then you'll get plenty of rest after. It's nice sometimes to have one game a weekend, so it's a good time for us to have a little rest."

Compared to Monday's game against No. 23 Louisville, this weekend should also be easier opponent-wise for Ball State.

The Lancers are 0-5 on the year, the most notable loss was a 6-2 beatdown by No. 5 Duke.

"We played [Longwood] two years ago," Maddox said. "It was definitely a tough match. They're physical, they're strong, they've got a plan. It'll be a good challenge for us, and I think having it on a weekend where we only have one game is going to make it ideal for us."

The Cardinals played against the Lancers in the 2010 season opener, winning 3-2 in overtime. The only two remaining players from that team are current seniors Marisa Weachter and Devon Bell. Gretchen Lulow is currently an assistant coach for the Cardinals.

Ball State is 1-3 in 2012 so far, its only win coming on August 25 against Lehigh in overtime. Maddox tries to see the positive in the losses, saying that her team understands the bigger picture.

"It's not fun. They don't like it. They don't enjoy it, but they can learn from it," Maddox said.

Ball State will play Longwood at noon.