POZ'S POINTS: Win over Indiana proves Field Hockey team is growing
Maddox called win first time team played full 70 minutes
For the second time in 15 days, Ball State triumphed over its older sibling, Indiana.
But this time, it wasn't on the football field.
The celebration that unraveled Sunday was inside the Briner Sports Complex at the BSU Turf Field.
In a season where success has been rare, I'm certain coach Beth Maddox and her field hockey team enjoyed getting the last laugh over the Hoosiers in the waning seconds of its 3-2 win.
But this astonishing victory means more to the field hockey program than just another "W" in the win-loss column. There's a greater and deeper meaning to it than that.
This win over Indiana alleviates some of the everlasting pain from a season that features just three wins to eight losses. And it erases a three-game losing streak.
The victory also marks a symbol of hope for Maddox's extremely young and inexperienced team. Having just two seniors, Maddox has been dealt the taxing task of developing seven freshmen, including both goalkeepers at a faster pace than she probably would have liked.
It's not as if Maddox has an assortment of more experienced players available at her request whenever she's in need. She doesn't have that luxury.
Ball State has gone through a tremendous amount of turnover from last season. Former forward Devanny Kuhn graduated along with former back-fielder and current assistant coach Gretchen Lulow. Kuhn led Ball State with seven goals in 2011, while Lulow tallied the second-most defensive saves, with five.
Both Lulow and Kuhn were the core of the team. They held the group together and led by example.
Replacing Kuhn and Lulow along with a handful of other seniors has been no easy task for Maddox, but she appears to have this young team playing hard. And under these circumstances, that's all anyone can ask for.
Ball State isn't simply lying down and accepting the harsh reality of defeat each match. That's for sure. This is a group that needs to be taught how to win and finish games. And it appears to be on the right track after defeating Indiana in stunning fashion.
Maddox said the win marked the first time her team played the full 70 minutes "together."
Playing as one instead of as individuals is always promising, and it'll be interesting to see how Ball State responds to this ever-so-important win the rest of the season.