In its final road game of the season, Ball State Field Hockey (2-14, 2-3 MAC) fell to No. 17 Northwestern (9-9, 3-5 Big Ten) by a score of 6-1.
The game began with Northwestern’s Lakin Barry scoring seven minutes into the game. Puck Pentenga scored the first of her three goals in the game shortly after.
After entering a 0-2 deficit, redshirt junior forward Michelle Shampton was able to put the Cardinals on the board. The goal was the first for Ball State since their 3-2 home victory against Ohio on Oct. 5.
Another Barry goal clinched a two-score lead for the Wildcats at half. The Cardinals were unable to score for the remainder of the game, but the same could not be said about the Wildcats.
The second Puck Pentenga score added onto the lead ten minutes into the second half. Mackenzie Keegan was able to contribute a goal of her own to the lead as well, which was quickly followed up only a minute after by the third Puck Pentenga goal of the game.
The Wildcats had 21 shots and 19 penalty corners. The Cardinals had a two shots and zero penalty corners.
“We really want to win, and it’s hard when we don’t,” head coach Stephanie Bernthal said. “The pain we feel after each loss makes us tough and hungry to get after it. We’ve got to keep building and growing, and not be complacent.”
Despite the score and stats, there were still positives to take away from the loss. The Cardinal goal ends a three-game scoreless streak and comes just before the MAC tournament.
The final game for the Cardinals could perhaps be the most meaningful. Currently tied for fourth place in the MAC, a win against Longwood can be beneficial for both momentum and positioning.
“We want to be competing and playing our best field hockey in the MAC tournament,” said Bernthal. “You can’t pull anything out that’s going to surprise anyone in the tournament. After our last game, it’s going to be a new season. Everybody is 0-0 in MAC season, and that’s what counts.”
The Cardinals will hope to utilize their home field advantage into a victory on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. when they face Longwood.