The Ball State Cardinals got off to a strong start against UC Davis (1-6), finding their rhythm and scoring early.

Freshman Lexi Kavanaugh continued her hot streak as she scored the game’s first goal unassisted at the 6:05 mark. Kavanaugh now has 12 points on the season.

Redshirt sophomore Bianca Velez scored nearly seven minutes later on a goal assisted by both junior Tori Widrick and sophomore Natalie Jardell. Velez returned the favor at the 16:44 mark by assisting on a goal by team captain Widrick.

Ball State played with poise and control as they attacked the gaps consistently, communicated heavily and used spacing in their attack.

“We had done everything alone this past weekend,” head coach Beth Maddox said. “We worked on doing everything in pairs, always having somebody with you, so that you were never alone.”

The energy that Ball State played with in the first 35 minutes did not show up in the second half. UC Davis got on the board a little after the 54-minute mark when Cloey LemMon capitalized off of a Ball State deflection and turned it into points.

Ten minutes later, UC Davis’ Hannah Drawbridge broke down the Cardinals defense to score a goal unassisted.

“We were playing a little more individually,” Ball State sophomore Cameron Daniels said. “We figured out halfway through the second half that we needed to come together and really work together.”

In the final three minutes, the Aggies goalkeeper Danielle Harrington was pulled due to an extra player on the field. The Cardinals took advantage of the opportunity and attacked the weakened defense.

“I was so excited,” Maddox said. “You pulled the goalie, let’s roll.”

Ball State climbed back to .500 at 4-4. The next match-up is Saturday at home against the Catamounts of Vermont, who sit at 0-8.