Sophomore Devanny Kuhn marked a career high four goals in Saturday's matchup as she placed the team on her shoulders, leading to an impressive victory for Ball State University.
After dropping their last four games, Ball State came out strong against Missouri State University, winning 4-2.
Coach Annette Payne gave all the credit to her team.
"This is something that they have been working real hard for," Payne said. "I told them I was very proud of them after the game and how happy I was for them; this win was very well deserved."
There were few opportunities to put points on the board for Ball State; the Cardinals were outshot by the Bears 19-6. But when the opportunity presented itself, Kuhn and her team took advantage.
The Cardinals were behind in almost every statistical category, but were able to lead the most important column by the end of the game: the scoreboard.
The Bears wasted no time getting on the board, taking an early 1-0 lead at the 6:50 mark on a goal from Megan Shamleffer.
Three minutes later at the 9:39 mark, Ball State bounced back with Kuhn's first goal.
The remainder of the first half was even as both teams were unable to capitalize.
The second half is when the Devanny Kuhn show began. Kuhn wasted no time continuing her terror on the back of the net, scoring just over a minute into the second half, giving Ball State a 2-1 advantage.
Kuhn was in the right place at the time as she earned a hat trick by flipping a loose ball into the goal in the 42nd minute. Leann Carroll recorded her first career assist on Kuhn's fourth goal.
The Bears made several last minute efforts to climb back into the game, coming away with one more goal with less than two minutes left. After the game, the team showed their excitement with their coach as they talked about how they came together.
"The girls were excited and happy with how they performed today," Payne said. "They were proud of how they played, as they should be."
Payne said she was particularly proud of the performance displayed by Kuhn.
"She just did a great job of finding the back of the boards," Payne said. "She has a great feel for scoring goals, obviously, and there is a lot to be said when she is able to do that. The team was happy to come together."
The team can take many positives from this match that can be used in the upcoming weekend.
"To be honest, everyone produced and did a great job of that," Payne said. "Everyone came out and played well. They all played hard and I just think it was a full team effort."
All season, Payne has preached to her team about coming out and performing for a whole 70 minutes, and Ball State did that against Missouri State.
"The team took what we went over in practice into the game today, and that's what we wanted," Payne said. "We played through our imperfections. We played a full 70-minute game."