Fullback and midfielder Mikayla Mooney strikes the ball in a match against Central Michigan on Sept. 27 at Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals lost 0-2. Roth Lovins © 2014
FIELD HOCKEY: Cardinals lose conference opener, fifth straight game
The Ball State field hockey team fell to Central Michigan in its conference opener Sept. 27, marking the team's fifth loss in a row.
Ball State now owns a 3-5 overall record, with a 0-1 Mid-American Conference record.
The Cardinals were aggressive in the game, forcing the ball onto Central Michigan's side throughout the first half. Despite the attack, the team struggled to control the ball.
"I think we were a lot more offensive, but with our offensive movement we weren't up to par," Tarel Teach, a senior midfielder, said. "I think that the beginning of the game could've been exponentially better."
Central Michigan got on the board first with a goal in the fourth minute from junior midfielder Kaysie Gregory. Gregory struck again in the 10th minute with her second goal of the game, forcing Ball State head coach Bethany Maddox to use her first timeout.
Throughout the first half, the Cardinals had plenty of opportunities with penalty corners, but couldn't capitalize.
"We were waiting today, I think everybody expected somebody else to step up and finish, and because of that, no one did," Maddox said.
Despite the constant pressure on the Central Michigan goalkeeper, Sadie Reynolds, the Cardinals could not get on the scoreboard. Reynolds's five saves kept the Chippewas on top 2-0 after the first 35 minutes of play.
The second half was much of the same story for the Cardinals, as they continued to put on pressure but couldn't score.
The team ended up with 11 shots on goal with none of them falling in, as the Cardinals weren't able to execute their offense.
"I'd like us to be smart with the ball. I think that we were aggressive, but we were also careless," Maddox said. "That needs to be better."
Statistically, the Cardinals outpaced the Chippewas the entire game offensively, shooting 15 shots to six, as well as having eight penalty corners to three from the Chippewas.
"We need to fight and we need to fight together, we can't just expect things to go our direction," Teach said. "We still have to put in the effort to make things go our way."
The team has a quick turnaround, as they play the second game of its weekend home stand on Sept. 28 against Saint Louis at 1 p.m.