FIELD HOCKEY: Ball State falls in first round of MAC tournament

In any sport, each team looks forward to postseason play and a chance to win a championship.

Those hopes were dashed early for the Ball State University field hockey team as it fell in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament to Central Michigan University 3-1 Thursday at the BSU Turf Field.

Ball State kept the ball on Central Michigan's side for much of the first half, but when the Chippewas had the ball they took advantage.

"The first half we didn't play with the spunk we needed," coach Annette Payne said. "We still played well; we just had a couple bad spots. The second half had much more spunk."

The Chippewas' Kelly Jordan was able to flip the ball into the goal off a rebound for the first goal of the game.

After its first goal, Central Michigan seemed to create more momentum, which led to another goal five minutes later.

Another Chippewa goal brought the score to 3-0 before the end of the first half.

Coming out of the break Payne seemed to have sparked her team; the energy was much higher than in the first.

"During the half we talked about a couple details," Payne said. "We talked about what we needed to do defensively and how we weren't denying the ball as well as we should have. We discussed how we've been there before and how we couldn't waste time. We had them realize that they needed to get some goals to get the job done."

Ball State took to what Payne said and increased the pressure on in the second half.

The pressure paid off as the Cardinals scored their first goal of the game when Brittany Hammer scored on a penalty corner.

After the goal, Central Michigan slowed the pace and ran out the clock to secure the victory.

After the loss, emotions ran high through the Cardinals, especially for senior forward Brooke MacGillivary.

"I guess you can say I'm sad and nervous about being a big girl now, if you can call it that," MacGillivary said. "This has been my life since I was 7th grade, so I'm kind of thinking about all the things that have gotten me here."

Payne spoke to her team after the game, explaining how proud she was of them for sticking together throughout the season.

"I talked to them about the season and about the things we've been through; through the ups and the downs we stuck together," Payne said. "We had a lot of things to overcome. I told them they're like a family to me and how I'm proud and happy for them. When it comes down to it they're an incredible team. We had some incredible moments as a team."



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