Ball State Field Hockey (2-10, 2-1 MAC) secured its first home win of the 2018 season in a 3-2 double overtime victory over Ohio (4-6, 2-1 MAC).
After suffering two tough losses, each player on the Cardinal roster had a chip on their shoulder. Unlike games prior, the Cardinals turned the tables and dominated the first half on both sides.
After letting the Bobcats stay in Cardinal territory for the opening of the game, the Cardinals turned it around and took a 1-0 lead. After averaging 6.1 shots per game, the Cardinals had five, all penalty corners, in the first half alone. A strong Cardinal defense held the Bobcats to only one shot.
“We talked about getting to the ball first,” head coach Stephanie Bernthal said. “We did that in the first half, and that propelled us to have momentum.”
The Bobcats flipped the switch in the second half, and less than three minutes in, Tayla Hansen tied the game at one apiece. After only attempting one shot in the first, the Bobcats outshot the Cardinals 10-6 in the second.
With five minutes left in the game, the Cardinals scored what was originally thought a game-winning goal, but Ohio retaliated with a goal of their own three minutes later to force overtime.
“When they scored against us in the end, that was a shock to the system,” redshirt sophomore back Rachel Pereira said.
The first overtime was a battle of penalty corners. In the 10-minute span, the Cardinals had three corner shots while the Bobcats had one. Neither team was able to convert, sending the game into a second overtime.
“In the second half Ohio made adjustments and beat us to the ball. Once that happened, we were on our heels,” Bernthal said. “We were up and down in the second half, but the momentum in the overtime periods was huge.”
The second overtime period was less eventful than the first, but the Cardinals took control. After missing a goal after a penalty corner, the Cardinals were awarded another opportunity, which was seized by Pereira.
Pereira is no stranger to the spotlight, as she hit the game-winning shot against Appalachian State on Sept. 28 to secure the first win of the Cardinals’ season. The week before that, she connected on a game-tying shot in regulation to force overtime against UC Davis. Now, she is responsible for another Cardinal win.
“It’s an amazing feeling winning like that in overtime,” Pereira said. “I think as a team it is a big win for us, a great feeling.”
The Cardinals will have a week off before returning to the road to face Kent State on Friday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m.