Ball State field hockey dropped its final game in Columbus, Ohio, in the Buckeye Invitational to New Hampshire (4-1). The loss marks the Cardinals fourth straight loss to kick off the 2023 campaign, dropping to 0-4.
New Hampshire took an early strike to open up scoring in the game by adding a pair of goals in the first period to make it a 2-0 lead going into the second period. Sophomore midfielder Nicole Poulakis scored each goal, her first off of a rebound for the keeper and her second off of a penalty stroke, which netted her second and third goals of the season for the Wildcats.
Ball State’s offense was unable to score in the first half, but after the Cardinals went down 3-0 in the third period, sophomore Fluer Knopert put in her third goal of the season to give the Cardinals some life.
After the goal, Ball State let in another on defense, sealing a 4-1 victory for New Hampshire.
“There was some good stuff to take out of it, but I don’t think we played consistent hockey for 60 minutes,” head coach Caitlin Walsh said. “Honestly, I think we handed them those first two goals which kind of set us back which made it harder to come out of a hole.”
Walsh also said that the team worked hard for 60 minutes and they just have to find a way to put it together.
Ball State, still seeking its first win of the season, will go back to the drawing board this week as the Cardinals prepare for another road trip through Pennsylvania leading up to Mid-American Conference play.
With it will come some challenges along the way, but Walsh said no matter the opponent, she’ll never count them out.
“We’re not letting up, we’re not taking [Saint Francis] lightly at all,” Walsh said. “It’s going to be us getting better, finding consistency, and finding things we need to work on.”
Ball State will travel to Loretto, Pennsylvania,. Sunday, Sept. 8 to take on Saint Francis University at 1 p.m.