The Northwestern Wildcats started out the gate in rhythm, striking early and never looking back in its 3-0 win against Ball State.

Led by senior Nikki Parsley, the No. 12 Wildcats found early success against Ball State on the offensive side while dominating on defense. Parsley scored two goals to lead the Wildcats to their fifth win this year.

Although sophomore goalkeeper Shelby Henley made 15 saves in Tuesday’s matchup, penalties hurt the Cardinals (2-3) throughout the match. The Wildcats earned 16 penalty corners in the game in which freshmen forward Dominique Masters scored one goal early.

Masters controlled the tempo most of the first half until redshirt sophomore Bianca Velez made a diving save that shifted the momentum in favor of Ball State. That momentum didn’t produce points however, as Ball State went into the half down 0-2.

In the second half, Ball State had more offensive possessions but still could not capitalize.

The Cardinals looked to be in tune but the Wildcats defensive pressure and poise kept the Cardinals away from the striking circle.

“We talked about it before the game; we needed to work hard together as a team, to keep the ball in front of us.” Henley said, “Not all of the calls were going our way, we were tired.”

Henley made note that they played with minimum subs while playing their fifth game in the past 10 days.

The concerned efforts did stop goals leader Caroline Troncelliti by limiting her production to two assists. Troncelliti showed flashes of dominance in the later part of the second half but those flashes were muzzled by the opportunity of penalty corners and the strong play of Parsley.

Head coach Beth Maddox knows the team needs to work on a few things during their break.

“We need to work on playing better defense and not giving up so many goals, but on the other side we need to score goals.”

Ball State has 10 days off before they travel to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. The Division II school is currently 0-2 with two games to play before they face Ball State.

“It doesn’t matter who you put in our face,” Maddox said. “We’re usually betting on ourselves everyday.”