The final regular season home game didn't favor the Ball State field hockey team Friday afternoon at the BSU Turf Field.

Heading into their game with the No. 11 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes, the Cardinals were surely overmatched, at least on paper.

That wasn't the case when the game started. Ball State gave Iowa everything it could handle, but in the end, the visiting team had the last laugh.

Iowa got off to a strong start when Becca Spangler recorded her fifth goal of the season in the opening minutes to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Cardinals answered when freshman sensation Sanne Hermans netted her fourth-career score, tying the game at 1-1.

Ball State trailed by a pair of goals when the second half began, and senior goalkeeper Chelsea Mitchell shined in the final 35 minutes.

Time after time, Mitchell dove to her right, then to her left, denying the multitude of shots that were hit her way. The fourth-year goalkeeper allowed five goals on the afternoon, but had a tremendous outing. The Hawkeyes had 14 penalty corner opportunities in the second half, and Mitchell took part in stopping 12, allowing just two goals in all.

The Hawkeyes notched the 5-2 victory and dealt the Cardinals their sixth loss against a Big Ten opponent this season.

The non-conference portion of the schedule is over, with the Cardinals ending it winless with a 0-9 record. But what the Cardinals are most concerned with is their record in the MAC.

Ball State will travel to Springfield, Mo., for its conference finale against the Missouri State Bears on Sunday. The Cardinals defeated the Bears 3-2 on Oct. 9 and are looking for the season series sweep.

The Cardinals are currently in a three-way tie with Miami and Kent State for the third seed in the MAC tournament, which begins Thursday in Ath