Freshman Emily Koronko and junior Bethany Han sprint toward the ball in the game against Michigan State on Oct. 12 at the Briner Sports Complex. DN PHOTO KAITI SULLIVAN
Despite struggles, Ball State remains confident
It has been a tough season for the Ball State field hockey team, but there is still hope for postseason play.
Ball State is 1-11 overall with an 0-1 Mid-American Conference record. This position is all too familiar for the team, as it sat with a 2-10 record through the first 12 games last season.
Miami - (2-0, 7-6)
Ohio - (2-0, 5-5)
Kent State - (2-0, 3-7)
Longwood - (2-2, 4-6-1)
Missouri State - (0-1, 3-9)
Ball State - (0-1, 1-10)
Central Michigan (0-3, 0-11)
Nine of 12 contests this season have been decided by two goals or less; the most recent of which was a 3-2 road loss at Virginia Commonwealth.
After five consecutive losses, there is little light at the end of the tunnel for the Cardinals.
“There’s definitely a fire building underneath me right now,” junior forward Lexi Kavanaugh said. “It just feels like something is stopping us, but I have no idea what it is at this point, and it’s just killing us.”
Kavanaugh has 14 points, six goals and two assists on the year. Her 14 points are fourth-best in the conference.
Although senior forward and midfielder Bethany Han has played consistently with Kavanaugh, the Cardinals have struggled on offense. The team has been shut out twice and held to one goal on three separate occasions.
The frustration is spread across the team, but the passion to win brings the team together.
“I really think everyone is coming together,” Kavanaugh said. “I think after Longwood everyone is pissed.”
Ball State battled Longwood on Oct. 2. Cardinals' goalie Jordan Dues had 12 saves, but the Lancers took home a 3-1 win.
Despite their record, the Cardinals are confident in their ability and can still compete in conference play.
“Our record doesn’t show how good we actually are,” Han said. “People would take one look at our record and glance right over us, but we are a team that can be reckoned with.”
Han has tallied eight points, four assists and two goals. Her assist numbers are good enough for sixth-best in the conference.
Only the top four seeds make the MAC Tournament. Ball State currently sits in the No. 6 spot in front of only Central Michigan (0-11).
At 3.5 games back, Ball State will take on Ohio on Oct. 9.
“This team is incredibly resilient,” head coach Sally Northcroft said. “I’ll take any win at the moment.”