Kent State 3, Ball State 2
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State field hockey team suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Kent State 1 p.m. Sunday. The Cardinals held a 2-0 lead at the half, but ultimately gave up three unanswered goals to the Golden Flashes' Debbie Bell. Kent State remains undefeated in the Mid-American conference with five wins.
Ball State kept the pressure on Kent State, controlling the ball in the Golden Flashes' territory for the majority of the first period. Ball State's defense forced Kent State to miss lots of scoring opportunities off fast breaks as well.
With nearly 11 minutes remaining in the first, Morgan Cloutier was able to record her third goal in three games for the Cardinals off a penalty corner. The double assist went to Devanny Kuhn and Katie Norris who leads the team with six assists. The goal also gave Ball State the lead for the first time since the win against Missouri State three games ago. The Cardinals kept their momentum and added a second goal minutes later on a cross from the right side by Gretchen Lulow to Caitlin Maguire for the score. Ball State maintained the 2-0 advantage into halftime.
However, Kent State wasted no time at the start of the second period, scoring in just under four minutes on a deflection by Bell. The momentum shifted in favor of Kent State as the Golden Flashes continued to log 18 shots in the second period alone. They totaled 26 on the day to Ball State's nine. Both teams battled back and forth over the next 20 minutes. A shot by Kuhn just missed the inside corner of the cage that could have increased Ball State's lead. Instead, Bell found a second goal off a penalty corner opportunity that tied the game 2-2. The Cardinals had no penalty corner opportunities in the second period.
Kent State continued firing shots and eventually took the lead for the first time with ten minutes remaining as Bell earned her third goal. However, two minutes later Bell was given a yellow card. The penalty gave Ball State a "power play" type advantage as Bell sat on the sidelines. But the Cardinals ran out of time before they could tie the score back up and eventually fell one goal short to the Golden Flashes.
Tiffany Shifflett made a season-high 13 saves on the day. She now has 93 saves this season, which moves her to fourth on the all-time career saves list.
Michigan State 2, Central Michigan 0
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Central Michigan field hockey team stayed within a shot of No. 8 Michigan State going into the second half, but was unable to find the net in a 2-0 loss on Sunday.
CMU drops to 3-9 (1-4 Mid-American) despite holding MSU to two goals. Sunday's contest was the ninth time this season that the Chippewas have allowed two goals or less.
MSU got on the board just 3:40 into the match when Floor Rijpma pounced on a rebound and slipped it into the goal. The tally was the only one the Spartans got as goalkeeper Melinda Curran stopped seven of eight shots in the opening 35 minutes.
"Melinda played very well and kept us in the game," head coach Cristy Freese said. "Even though MSU got shots, I felt we were able to keep them to the outside."
The Maroon and Gold attack was unable to get on track in the second half as the Spartans fired several shots at Curran in the opening minutes of the final period.
MSU's Chantae Miller put the Spartans up, 2-0, in the 43rd minute when she beat Curran from in front of the goal.
Michigan State outshot Central, 28-9, and had a 9-3 edge in penalty corners.
"I felt we played pretty well overall and did a nice job hanging with a top-10 team," Freese said. "We still need to work on generating offense and our game-to-game consistency from that end."
Curran ended the match with 16 saves on 18 shots.
The Chippewas resume their MAC schedule on Friday when they face Ball State in Muncie, Ind.
Ohio 1, Miami 0
OXFORD, Ohio - In their most evenly-matched contest of the season, the RedHawks came up short against the visiting Ohio Bobcats 1-0 Sunday at the Miami Field Hockey Complex. Miami is now 8-7-0 in 2009 and 5-2-0 in MAC play while Ohio improves to 5-7-0 and 3-2-0 in conference play.
It was a fight from the start today between Ohio and Miami as, despite ample time spent on both ends of the field, both teams found that their defenses would bend but not break It was not until 33:38 in the first half that the stalemate was broken when Katherine Ballard knocked in a goal for Ohio from the left side from Brooke Edwards.
The second half saw a swing of momentum in Miami's favor, with the RedHawks spending the majority of the period in Ohio territory battling for a look at the net. Despite ten total shots, including a post shot, Miami was unable to score, leaving the final at 1-0.
"We didn't get the bounces today," said Head Coach Jill Reeve. "We had chances to win but the bounces didn't fall in our favor or we were hitting the post which was unfortunate, but the teamwork was there. I'm proud of their effort and they played well, we just need to work on executing our special situations."
Miami will continue its home stretch this Friday against California at 2 p.m. to open the Alumni/Bicentennial Weekend.