Regular season ends against ranked teams

There's not much left to talk about.

This weekend bids the last two games of the season for the field hockey team (2-6 in the Mid-American Conference, 5-10 overall). Both are at home, and both are against nationally ranked MAC contenders: Kent State Friday and Ohio Saturday.

The team has struggled to keep its head afloat this year. But Halliday said they have all learned alot: Don't underestimate anyone, a 4-3 loss to Indiana taught them that; come out strong, Wednesday's two apiece tie at halftime with No. 9 Ohio State drove that home; don't let up, several second-half losses -- like Louisville -- showed them that one; and play with heart...but that one is obvious.

More on Wednesday's canceled game: Halliday said one of the reasons Ball State was able to run with the No. 9 team in the nation is because they, as a team, had the proper mental preparedness.

"This has been one of the first games against a top-ten opponent that we knew in our heads that we're just as good as they are," Halliday said. "And it was great."

At this point in the season, Halliday agreed that the formula to success is boiling down to a mind game. The physical ability Ball State harbors, she said, is sufficient for a championship team.

So is the team intimidated in the face of two nationally ranked powerhouses? Nope, almost every game lately has been against a "big name," Halliday said.

But if the team gets caught playing the name game, "playing a name, not a team," Halliday says, a win Friday or Saturday will blow away with the cool fall wind.

Halliday's regimen should have the team peaking, physically and mentally for next weekend's MAC tournament, she said.

And with their skills nearing a peak this weekend, combined with the added excitement of senior's day Saturday, the Cards may have the ammo they need to pull off two wins. That would be "phenomenal momentum" going into the MAC tournament, Halliday said.

"It's a big weekend, in a sense, for the players," she said. "It's senior day on Saturday and it's their last home game; it's going to be emotion filled."

Friday's game with Kent State starts at 3 p.m. at the BSU Artificial Turf Field; Saturday's with Ohio starts at 1 p.m.


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