Ball State Field Hockey defense not enough to contain No. 11 Michigan offense
Ball State Field Hockey (3-10, 1-2 MAC) struggled offensively in the loss o No. 11 Michigan (10-3, 3-1 Big Ten). The Wolverines excelled on offense in the second half to secure their fourth straight victory.
The Cardinals started the game with three shots within the first 5 minutes, but were unable to turn them into points. It took Michigan just over 10 minutes to get their first shot on goal before the Wolverines were able to convert for a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute. In the second period, Ball State played its best defensive period of the weekend, allowing no goals on eight shots by Michigan However, the Cardinals allowed five goals on 20 shots in the second half.
Freshman goalkeeper Wietske Overdijkink had her hands full all afternoon, facing 31 shots and allowing six goals. She recorded 12 saves in the contest, but the Wolverine offense was too contain.
Head coach Stephanie Bernthal said she was proud of the way her team performed, but knows that there is room for improvement.
“We want to take the next steps in getting more goal scoring output,” Bernthal said. “We need to find more creativity with the ball on offense.”
While back to back losses on the weekend may not look good on paper, Bernthal said playing against ranked teams, such as Michigan and Stanford, offer experince to such a young team. Nine freshman makeup the core of the team this season,
“Having people with more time playing with each other against great teams,” Bernthal said. “It takes time and were on a great trajectory with it, but we have to keep pushing to take the next steps in the practice environment.”
Ball State has been out scored by Michigan 12-0 in the past two seasons. The Cardinals have now dropped two straight games and eight of their last nine games. The Cardinals will return to conference play Friday at Ohio.