FIELD HOCKEY: Ball State gets first win of season
Cardinals end eight-game losing streak against RedHawks with 3-0 win
Ball State was winless in its last eight tries against Miami over a span of four years. Season after season, Miami triumphed while Ball State failed to prosper.
The past has been forgotten. The losing streak was snapped when Ball State (1-6, 1-0) went head-to-head with the RedHawks in the Mid-American Conference opener.
Prior to the game, coach Beth Maddox emphasized scoring first. The Cardinals did that and more. While constantly swarming the RedHawks with a number of shots, the offensive strategy left the RedHawks in defense mode.
"It sets the tone for the game," Maddox said. "If you go up initially, you tend to be better than you think you are and you start playing harder. It worked out today."
Junior midfielder Marisa Weachter provided the energy for Ball State in its 3-0 win over Miami. Weachter put the Cardinals on the scoreboard with her first career-goal.
As freshman Laura Malinoski inserted the ball from the left corner, Weachter sprinted to the right goal post and then tapped the ball into the cage off of freshman Sanne Hermans' pass.
"I knew I needed to come out here and work very hard," Weachter said. "It's a play we've been practicing. It [starts with] Sanne and she hits it down to the post and I tip it in."
Weachter wasn't satisfied with just scoring. She wanted more. Every time the Cardinals were controlling the ball in the offensive zone, Weachter was the centerpiece of every play.
"She fought hard today," Maddox said. "[It] was the first day where she really stepped up as an upperclassman and she had a lot of responsibility and came through. This is the beginning of her scoring goals. She's going to do it again."
The Cardinals defense played as a unit, denying the RedHawks on a number of scoring opportunities. The combination of Malinoski and seniors Katie Norris and Gretchen Lulow blocked a combined five shots for the Cardinals.
"All week [coach Maddox] emphasized hard work, patience and discipline," Norris said. "As a unit, we were able to hold together and communicate. That's what kept us in the game. We try to own our space."
Senior Devanny Kuhn and Hermans tallied their second goals of the season to give Ball State a three-goal advantage and preserved the game.
The victory is the first of the season for the Cardinals and marks the beginning of a new season as MAC play continues on Saturday versus Central Michigan.
"It was a team effort today and it really paid off," Maddox said.