The Ball State field hockey team is one win away from clinching a spot in the MAC tournament for the first time since 2011. The Carinals might get the spot if Longwood loses or if they can beat last place Central Michigan. Patrick Murphy // DN File
Ball State field hockey needs 1 win to make MAC Tournament
Ball State field hockey is one game away from clinching a spot in the Mid-American Conference tournament for the first time since 2011.
Only four teams make tournament, and the Cardinals (7-10, 2-3 MAC) will take that last spot with a win over Central Michigan (2-15, 0-5 MAC) or if fifth-place Longwood (8-8, 2-3 MAC) loses to Missouri State (2-11, 1-4 MAC).
Ball State holds the head-to-head tiebreakers against both Missouri State and Longwood, but senior midfielder Mikayla Mooney said it's easier to just win.
How Ball State can clinch a tournament spot:
1. Ball State beats Central Michigan
2. Longwood loses to Missouri State
“We want to do the work ourselves,” she said. “Obviously we don’t want to have to focus on how another team does so we just need to focus on us and get it done.”
Head coach Christy Longacre said the team has recovered from the Oct. 23 loss to Miami (10-7, 4-1 MAC) and needs to look forward to the Oct. 28 matchup against the Chippewas.
“It was good to celebrate the seniors and we actually played really well but the second half was definitely Miami’s half,” she said. “Our focus, now, is on this Friday. We’re not looking at the MAC or anything. We have to do our job Friday and then go on from there.”
Though Central Michigan has no tournament hopes on the line as the last place in the MAC, senior midfielder Morgan Nash said the Chippewas can't be taken lightly.
“This game isn’t going to be easy,” she said. “There have been games where we’ve thought we should win and we come out with a loss. We want to make a statement that when the time comes, we’re ready to play.”
For Nash, Mooney and the rest of the seniors, this could be their last game in a Ball State uniform, which Nash said will provide some extra incentive.
“This weekend could be the end of our season,” she said. “We want to go to the MAC tournament. We haven’t been in so long, and it being [the seniors'] last chance, we definitely want to go.”
Ball State plays Central Michigan at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.