The Ball State field hockey team will take on Ohio State on Oct. 3 at the Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals need only one more win to finish with a better Mid-American Conference record than last season. Patrick Murphy // DN File
Ball State field hockey hosts Ohio State in home opener
It's been six weeks since a Ball State field hockey home game.
When the team takes on Ohio State at Briner Sports Complex Oct. 3, it will be the Cardinals' first home game since a preseason scrimmage against Indiana Aug. 20. Head coach Christy Longacre said her players are ready to play at home.
Last three games versus Ohio State:
September 11, 2015 - 2-3 L
September 14, 2014 - 2-3 L (OT)
October 23, 2013 - 1-2 L
“They’re missing two days a week of classes," Longacre said. "We try and get as much rest as we can and to travel as early as we can. It’s not the easiest schedule, but they’ve been champs about it."
Senior midfielder Morgan Nash said the hardest part of playing on the road is keeping the players' minds and bodies focused.
“We definitely have to take care of our bodies better than we would if we were here, but it’s difficult because all our equipment is here,” she said. “It’s part of the game, having to travel, but physically it does take a toll.”
In their 11 road games, Ball State is off to a 5-6 start (0-2 MAC) after finishing 2-16 (0-6 MAC) last season.
With five of the Cardinals' last seven games at home, including 4 Mid-American Conference matchups, junior midfielder Carley Shannon said she hopes the home crowd can bring some excitement to the team.
“People can come support us, we get our classmates and our fellow student athletes,” Shannon said. “We’re all super pumped.”
For Nash, being on familiar territory will be the biggest benefit.
“There’s a sense of pride that this is our own turf and we have all the advantage here,” she said.
Shannon said playing at home gives the team confidence against Ohio State (4-7, 0-3 Big Ten).
“We always play a really good game against Ohio State,” she said. “It’s always that one-goal type of game.”
Ball State has lost to Ohio State in eight straight games. In the last three, however, the Cardinals only lost by one goal in each game.
The Cardinals' home opener will start at 3 p.m. Five of the Cardinals' last seven games will be at home.