Junior goalie Shelby Henley blocks the Indiana University shot during the game on Sept. 17 at the Ball State turf field. DN PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK
FIELD HOCKEY: Goalkeeper off to strong start
Ball State field hockey goalkeeper Shelby Henley has been a force in the net through the first half of the season.
Not only does her .750 save percentage rank first among goalkeepers in the Mid-American conference, but it is also good enough for No. 21 in the nation.
In saves per game, Henley is second in the MAC and seventh in the nation, with an average of 7.71.
Despite the fast start, Henley remains humble about her performance and attributes her success to her teammates.
"I just try to focus on a game at a time and doing the best that I can," Henley said. "I'm working off my teammates, making sure we're always connected."
Henley has played consistently throughout the season, despite facing multiple ranked non-conference opponents over the past few weeks. During these games, it has been hard for the Cardinals to take the pressure off of the junior goalkeeper.
"We're playing a lot of the Big Ten schools and there's a lot of pressure, and I'm hoping that we don't give up as many shots as we have been," head coach Beth Maddox said. "No matter what type of pressure you throw at [Henley], I know she'll rise to the occasion."
The toughest part of the Cardinals' season is over, as the schedule shifts toward conference play. Despite losing its last four games, Ball State still has the best overall record in the MAC.
As the team prepares for conference opponents, it looks to take some of the pressure off of Henley.
"The last few games we've been working some kinks out," Henley said. "We've definitely figured some stuff out at practice that will help us in the next few games."
Ball State is 3-4 on the season. The team will face Central Michigan (1-8) on Sept. 27 and Saint Louis (1-7) on Sept. 28.