In the Cardinals second game of a five game road trip, Ball State Field Hockey (2-4, 0-0 MAC) lost to UMass Lowell (2-3, 0-0 AEC), 2-1.
The game was a defensive battle as the Cardinals recorded 15 saves and allowed two goals on 21 River Hawk shots. The offense struggled early on to score and the defense allowed an early goal.
“We controlled the game but right now for us, it is just the finishing,” head coach Stephanie Bernthal said. “On defense, it is just some little things here and there and then on the attacking side of the ball, great opportunities but just missing a little bit.”
Redshirt senior Michelle Shampton connected on a cross from junior Audrey Tabor to tie the game up at the 4:05 mark of the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the River Hawks' Sofie Knook scored her second goal of the game in the 58th minute.
“It was a very competitive back and forth game,” Bernthal said. “We did a great job of keeping control of the momentum. There were just a couple of plays such as two corners that they ended up getting the ball to trickle in on. We had an awesome cross ball through traffic after we maintained pressure.”
Bernthal had high praise for her forwards and midfielders who put together a solid effort.
“The midfielders had a great day of getting to the ball and intercepting it after the forwards put pressure in the backfield,” Bernthal said. “The middle of the field had a really good day. I think Jenna McKune and Angel Nkosi had a really good game both offensively and defensively.”
While the Cardinals came up short, they believe that they can hang with some of the top teams in the nation.
“It is exciting because all of these games have come down to crucial moments where the other team is just capitalizing,” Bernthal said “I know the competitiveness of our team will rise to the talent. These girls are warriors. They are battling every play but it is just the little things that need to be fixed.”