Dues signs letter of intent with Ball State

Fallbrook High School senior Jordan Dues has signed a letter of intent to play field hockey at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Dues was one of 114 athletes to sign a letter of intent at the San Diego Hall of Champions during the National Signing Day ceremony Feb. 6.

“It was pretty exciting,” Dues said.

“She’s an amazing player. She works hard. She has natural ability, and her signing with Ball State is just another step in the right direction for her field hockey career. I’m really happy for her,” said Fallbrook High School coach Kirstin Mueller.

Dues had preferred Ohio State University before having contact with Ball State. Dues emailed videos of her play to Ball State coach Beth Maddox, who expressed interest after watching the video.

“Once we were able to spend time with her we were sold, and I’m glad she decided that Ball State was good for her, too,” Maddox said.

“I went and I fell in love with the campus and the coach and the players,” Dues said. “Since my junior year my main focus was on Ball State.”

Dues plans to major in kinesiology and has plans to become a physical therapist or athletic trainer after her graduation.

“Not only is she a great goalkeeper, but she’s also a good person,” Maddox said. “She’s just a great kid.”

Dues will be one of three goalkeepers for Ball State; Maddi Elliott and Shelby Henley will be sophomores during the 2013 season. Maddox expects to use all three during the season, depending on the opponent. “Their strengths are all very different, so I expect Jordan to come in and play right away,” Maddox said.

“It’s nice to have options,” Maddox said. “It’s a good feeling.”

In 2012, Henley played 636 minutes while Elliott was in the nets for 630 minutes.

Dues becomes Ball State’s first player from California. “We’re hoping she’ll be a nice little gateway for us,” Maddox said.

The Mid-American Conference has six field hockey teams; Central Michigan is now the only team without a California player. Dues, Torrey Pines senior Kristen Buchanan (who will play at Ohio University), and Del Norte’s Megan Drew (who signed with Missouri State), will join 12 other Californians including nine from San Diego County on the rosters of conference teams.

The signing of Dues makes Ball State the fourth Mid-American Conference school with a former Fallbrook High School player. Jahna Jordan is the goalie at Kent State University; Lauren Hughey plays for Miami, and the Missouri State roster includes Sydney Richelieu and Jackie Eskue.

That creates the possibility of Jordan and Dues being the opposing goalkeepers when Ball State and Kent State face each other in conference play. “She trained me, so that’s going to be exciting,” Dues said.

“That will be awesome,” Maddox said.

Dues, who played no other sports in high school, spent her freshman and sophomore years on Fallbrook’s junior varsity squad while Jordan was Fallbrook’s varsity goalkeeper. Dues made the 2011 varsity as an 11th-grader. As a junior, Dues received second-team Avocado League recognition and was also a second-team all-CIF selection. In February 2012, Dues played in the Disney Showcase in Orlando, Fla.

Dues received first-team Avocado League honors as a senior before also being named to the all-CIF first team. Dues made 81 saves during the 2012 season.

“She’s smart. She’s a solid player,” Maddox said. “We’re extremely excited about Jordan.”

Dues’ father, Master Gunnery Sergeant Patrick Dues, has been stationed at Camp Pendleton since 2003. Dues, who was born in North Carolina, spent her third through fifth grade years at Stuart Mesa Elementary School before spending sixth grade at Mary Fay Pendleton Elementary School and attending Potter Junior High School for seventh and eighth grades. The Dues family initially lived on base after the transfer to Camp Pendleton and moved to Fallbrook four years ago.

Dues, who played soccer in a Camp Pendleton league, took up field hockey in eighth grade. “I wanted to try a new sport,” she said.

Dues also tried out for rugby, as she was unsure whether she would make Potter’s field hockey team. She made the Potter squad and was a defender in eighth grade. In ninth grade she became a goalkeeper. “I volunteered for it,” she said.

Dues cited Fallbrook’s 2011 CIF Division I championship as the highlight of her high school field hockey career. “I had a great experience with it and I’m glad I got involved,” Dues said. “I can’t wait to play in college.”

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