After winning three straight games last week, the field hockey team lost both its contests this weekend, including its MAC opener, to fall to 4-3 on the season.
Saturday, the Cardinals opened MAC play at home with a 3-1 loss to Central Michigan. The Chippewas scored 51 seconds into the game and the team never caught up. Junior midfielder Afton Hess scored the lone goal for Ball State.
Sunday, the team lost to Boston University 3-2 in a game played at the University of Michigan. The Cardinals were a player short for 10 minutes in the second half because of a yellow card on senior forward Allison Haynes. Senior midfielder Jenn Budney and sophomore forward Jen Strodel scored the Cardinal goals.
Although Ball State had an advantage in shots and corners in both games, the team couldn't convert the shots to goals. Head coach Jen Halliday said it wasn't a problem with scoring, but a problem with the team's level of intensity.
"Our intensity wasn't up for an extended period of time," Halliday said. "When we were focused we scored, but when our intensity wasn't high, we had issues with scoring."
Against Central Michigan the Cardinals dominated the game statistically. They outshot the Chippewas 20-13 and had a 10-8 advantage in corners. Despite the domination on paper, Halliday said the team played poorly.
"We just got outplayed on Saturday," Halliday said. "Sunday, in the first half, it took us a bit to bounce back after the way we played in the Central Michigan game."
Although the score did not reflect it, Halliday said the team dominated Boston in the second half. Despite Boston having more goals on less shots than the Cardinals, Halliday said the trouble was not with the goalkeeper, senior Susan McDowell.
"The issue was with our defense," Halliday said. "Our reaction time was slow both days. We weren't anticipating. We weren't prepared."
Ball State's next opportunity to get their first MAC win comes Friday at Miami of Ohio. Although the team was disappointed to open their conference schedule with a loss, Halliday said it won't hurt the team's chances of winning a MAC championship.
"We have to come out ready to go from the start," Halliday said. "The MAC is so tight that the team that shows up ready to play with dominate."