Field hockey goalkeeper becomes vocal leader
A career year for Ball State field hockey (7-10, 2-3 MAC) is not enough for the ever hard-working senior goalkeeper Jordan Dues.
Dues leads the Mid-American Conference with 82 saves, is third in shutouts (2) and goals against average (2.14), and fifth in saves per game (4.82) and save percentage (.683). As a team, Ball State has allowed the third-fewest goals in the MAC (38).
Dues has also posted a career best this year in goals against average, save percentage, wins and has logged the most minutes of her career with 1,243.
Jordan Dues Season Statistics:
Minutes played: 1,243
Goals against: 38
Goals against average: 2.14
Save percentage: .683
But Dues started off like most freshman goalkeepers: on the bench, waiting her turn.
“I knew that coming in,” Dues said. “There were great athletes above me and I had to learn and work my way up.”
In her senior year at Ball State now, Dues has found herself in a new role as a team leader.
Teammates note her vocals on the field, as well as her hard-working nature off of it. Senior forward Lexi Kavanaugh and senior midfielder Morgan Nash say practicing against Dues has helped improve the attackers, and her presence on and off the field has grown, which helps the entire team.
“She’s a lot louder now and she’ll come out of the cage more,” Kavanaugh said. “She has a tone that when she needs stuff done, girls will know they need to get it done. She gives out a lot of advice, and she’s not afraid to set us in our place.”
Nash said she has always been reliable.
“She’s proven herself not just in this season but in previous seasons as well,” Nash said. “We have all the confidence in the world in her.”
Dues' leadership doesn’t just help her fellow players. First year head coach Christy Longacre says having a veteran like Dues around has helped ease her transition to head coach.
“It’s been great having her,” she said. “She knows the game and understands the game so well. Having her lead the defense from the goal has been great, and she’s been great all season long.”
After all is said and done, though, Dues says the individual statistics don’t matter. The team getting better is all she cares about, that and making her first MAC tournament.
“I know we can do it,” she said. “We’re still learning from [Longacre] and adjusting, and I’m happy with the wins we’ve gotten, but I’d like to get more than that, that’s my goal.”
Ball State currently sits in the fourth and final spot to qualify for the MAC tournament with one game to go. They’ll take on last place Central Michigan (2-15, 0-5 MAC) at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 with a tournament spot on the line.