Heading into this weekend’s two-game series against Appalachian State (1-2, 1-1 MAC), the last time Ball State Field Hockey (1-3, 1-1 MAC) won a game was Nov. 1, 2019. Ironically enough, that was against the Mountaineers.
That changed this weekend, though, as the Cardinals and Mountaineers split this season’s series in both teams’ Mid-American Conference opening matches.
In Friday’s match, Appalachian State got on the board first with a goal six minutes into the second period. However, the Cardinals struck back about five minutes later when freshman forward Maureen Donegan scored just before halftime and tied the game.
Then — fewer than 10 minutes into the second half — sophomore midfielder Kerrianne McClay scored on an unassisted reverse shot in what was ultimately the game winner, earning Ball State its first win of the season 2-1 despite being outshot 11-8.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” head coach Stephanie Bernthal said. “People stepped up in critical moments of this game, and we executed a complex and aggressive game plan across the board. We aren’t able to do that if our whole team isn’t fit and focused all year for the start of MAC play.”
In Saturday’s second game of the weekend, defense played a major factor as neither team could find a way to score. That was, until 30 seconds before halftime when the Mountaineers managed to score off of a deflection into the net.
It was the only goal that would be scored on the day, too. Appalachian State’s defense prevented the Cardinals’ offense from getting anything going and earned the 1-0 shutout. The Mountaineers also outshot Ball State 7-3, and the Cardinals were unable to get a single shot in the second half.
The Cardinals return home March 19-20, continuing MAC play against Ohio (0-1, 0-0 MAC).