Beth Maddox's inaugural season as the Ball State field hockey coach wasn't one to remember as her team finished with an overall record of 6-14.

Despite the struggles and inconsistencies, Maddox took a positive approach when analyzing her first go-around.

"My first year here was an exciting one," Maddox said. "I don't see [it] as a disappointing one. The team and I were both learning how to work with each other. We were able to come up with some big wins and I think we set the foundation for this year."

As she prepares to enter her sophomore season, Maddox finds her roster filled with newcomers.

Thrown into the mix of seven seniors, are 11 freshmen, including mid-fielder Sanne Hermans from Holland and defender Courtney Abbott from South Africa.

Expect the freshmen to record clusters of playing time, as Maddox plans to utilize every player.

"They will start, they will sub in, they will compete," Maddox said. "That's what we expect."

The team lacked energy last season, but Maddox is more than confident her group can reverse the trend by bringing new mindsets to the field.

"[They] will provide us with much needed energy," Maddox said. "They are excited and have worked really hard this summer to come in ready to play."

With such a young roster, certain growing pains are to be expected. Maddox understands there will be a learning curve and said it will be up to the rest of the team to battle through them.

"Obviously, it's a huge incoming class," Maddox said. "There will be some struggles. We want them to get as much experience as possible. It will be up to our returners to show them the way. Our schedule is difficult, and we expect the team to do their best every day."

A close-knit team creates new chemistry and Maddox believes she has found the right combination for this season.

"We have close bond with our returners and we want nothing more than for them to go out on top," she said. "We know that the freshmen will provide the necessary energy and we are ready."

With fall camp under way, Maddox is stressing the importance of playing fundamentally sound.

Ball State's first taste of competition will come in a scrimmage against the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington, Ind. on Aug. 20 at 1:00 p.m.