Ball State field hockey was started in 1975. Since its inception, it has seen 18 All-American selections. Breanna Daugherty, DN
Ball State field hockey: Top 20 rankings and All-American selections
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Since its inception in 1975, Ball State field hockey owns a 398-367-18 record, meaning its 400th win will likely come in the 2018 season.
The program has earned 16 Mid-American Conference regular season championships, 10 MAC Tournament Championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances in its 42 years.
During the 1990s — the program’s most successful decade — the Cardinals finished with the seventh-best total record (174-56-3) and winning percentage (.721). Ball State was ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation 57 times from 1992-99, remaining in the top 10 through the entirety of the 1992 and 1994 seasons. The highest ranking ever achieved by Ball State is No. 7 in 1994.
The Cardinals once put together a stretch of sheer dominance in the MAC, winning 66 consecutive conference games from 1993 through 1998.
Karen Fitzpatrick, head coach from 1980-2000, leads the way in wins as head of the team by a wide margin at 285-130-11, which includes a dominating 129-21 record in the MAC and a solid 24-8 record in the MAC Tournament. Next closest in terms of total wins as head coach is Anetta Payne, who compiled a 35-96 overall record from 2003-09.
Jackie Schmidt, the team’s second head coach who held the reigns from 1976-79, joins Fitzpatrick as the only other coach in program history with a winning record at 32-29-6.
The team has fielded 18 All-American selections in its history — the most of any school in the MAC — and Mindy Pretzman, Ashleigh Schoultz, Jen Brown and Sally Northcroft (twice) make up the program’s five First Team All-Americans.
Northcroft, who competed for the program from 1996-99, holds the team record for career goals with 126, which is 46 more than her two-year teammate Brown (1994-97) who holds second place with 80. Northcroft also has a comfortable lead over Brown in total career points with 270. Brown registered 193 points. She can look in the team record books and find herself in both first and second in most goals in a game, tallying seven against Michigan State in 1998 and hitting the same mark a year later against American.
Pretzman’s work guarding the net led to her program lead in shutouts, finishing her career with 38 clean sheets, including 16 in 1994. Perhaps her best year as goalkeeper came in 1994 when she allowed just 0.39 goals per game, the best mark in program history.
Ball State field hockey has seen 12 players inducted into the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame. Fitzpatrick is the lone coach to receive the honor.
Former assistant coach Edie Patton died of cancer in 1993. She assisted the program for 14 years, and her legacy continues through the Edith A. Patton Memorial Scholarship, which had been awarded to 16 Ball State field hockey student-athletes as of 2017.