When Ball State field hockey coach Beth Maddox recruited freshman Courtney Abbott from South Africa, she knew there was something special in her.

As soon as Abbott signed with the Cardinals, Maddox found what she thought to be a diamond in the rough.

"Courtney adds a new dynamic to our team," Maddox said in the spring, according to ballstatesports.com. "She brings a great deal of skill and an incredible attitude to our program."

No longer will Abbott display her style of play and creativity, at least not in a Cardinals uniform.

After spending three months with the team, and just weeks prior to the start of the 2011 season, the recruit decided to part ways with the program, returning home to her family and friends.

"I didn't feel like I was benefiting the team in any way," Abbott said. "I realized I didn't want to be away from home more [than] I had already been."

She was a four-year letter winner as a defender for Rustenburg in South Africa and helped her team earn Western Province honors. She played for the Western Province Cricket Club for four consecutive seasons. Abbott also excelled at touch rugby, where she also helped her team earn Western Province honors, and amassed 20 tries in her career.

Abbott said her sudden departure from the team had nothing to do with the current state of the program.

In fact, the former Cardinal spoke highly of the team and praised Maddox.

"I have no negative feelings towards the program," Abbott said. "It is an excellent program led by an encouraging and positive coach, followed by motivated and dedicated girls. I hope and think they will do really well this season."

Maddox, who was not available for comment, labeled Abbott during fall camp as a "tenacious" player, who brought a "creative element to our team."