Team members take off at the start of the cross country meet against IUPUI on Sept. 23, 2016 at the Muncie Elks Country Club. Ball State won against IUPUI 16-46. Kaiti Sullivan // DN
Weekend in Review
This weekend, Ball State football won on the road, women's volleyball and soccer each won two games at home, cross country won its lone home meet of the season and field hockey dropped two games on the road.
With the first part of their season over, there have been a lot more positives than negatives for the Cardinals.
2 p.m. Field hockey loses to Kent State, 2-1
3 p.m. Ball State Cardinal Duals (Muncie Elks Country Club), 1st place
5 p.m. Soccer beats Buffalo, 1-0
7 p.m. Women's volleyball beats Central Michigan, 3-2
6 p.m. Football beats Florida Atlantic, 31-27
7 p.m. Women's volleyball beats Eastern Michigan, 3-2
1 p.m. Field hockey loses to Ohio, 3-2
2 p.m. Soccer beats Akron, 1-0
Ball State won 31-27 at Florida Atlantic Sept. 24 to finish the nonconference portion of its schedule with a 3-1 record. Three wins already matches last season's total with still two-thirds of the regular season left to play.
Whether it's a road game against Florida Atlantic or next week's home matchup with Northern Illinois, head coach Mike Neu said it doesn't matter.
"We expect to win every game," Neu said. "When you have one game at the end of the week and seven days to prepare, they're all precious. Every one of them you look at the same way — they're all must-win."
Winless through its first nine non-conference games, Ball State's women's volleyball (6-10, 2-0 MAC) is undefeated after two Mid-American Conference games.
The Cardinals beat Eastern Michigan 3-2 (25-20, 14-25, 25-15, 20-25, 15-11) Sept. 24, snapping a three-match losing streak to the Eagles. Head coach Kelli Miller said her players "stepped up at the right time," but there's still work to be done.
“The big thing we’ll take away from the weekend is that when we’re giving up big amounts of points, we have to work to get out of that faster," she said.
Ball State's rematch against Akron on Sept. 25 was the redemption Ball State was looking for after the Cardinals were eliminated from the Mid-American Conference Tournament by Akron in penalty kicks.
Still, head coach Craig Roberts said he expected more out of his team than a 1-0 victory, especially after Friday's 1-0 win over Buffalo.
"I think [Friday] was one of the most delivered, tactical games the girls have played and I thought they did exceptionally well today but we were very inconsistent," Roberts said "I did not feel we played anywhere near the full potential; players did not follow the game-plan. So we're going to have to revisit which players will be able to execute this Friday and Sunday."
When Emily Tromp stepped to the starting line of the Ball State Cardinal Duals, she was running for more than just her team. She had a very special person cheering her on.
"My dad drove 13 hours to come watch me today from Minnesota, so it felt really good," Tromp said. "I think we performed really well."
Ball State field hockey has now lost four straight after dropping two games this weekend against Kent State, 2-1, and Ohio, 3-2.
The team, winless since beating Colgate on September 10, has now lost six of their last seven games after starting the season 3-0.
The Cardinals began Mid-American Conference play with a loss against Kent State to open up the weekend, dropping to 0-1 in the conference. Senior Midfielder Mikayla Mooney opened up scoring in the game with her fourth goal of the season coming 11 minutes in. Kent State would follow with three unanswered.
The weekend didn’t get any better with a loss to Ohio two days later. The game went back and forth in regular time, with Ball State getting goals from sophomore midfielder Beth Barnes and senior forward Lexi Kavanaugh. Ohio’s Amelia Milton would get the last laugh, however, scoring the winning goal in overtime.
Ball State will head to East Lansing, Michigan next to take on Michigan State on Sunday, October 2. They finally return home on Monday, October 3 against Ohio State at the field hockey field at the Briner Sports Complex. -- Dylan Grissom, field hockey reporter