Conor Hockett

Coming off a 40-shot game, the Ball State soccer team's offense is bound to score more than one goal like they did on Sunday against Ohio.

So, if those numbers continue, the defense seems to be the only thing needing attention.

Coach Craig Roberts said the team is focusing on closing down defensively leading up to its game against Buffalo on Friday.  

"We wanted to make sure we're looking at our defensive cover so players understand their responsibilities," Roberts said. "We need to make sure we're covering any weakness we may have exposed this past weekend."

Buffalo is the caliber of team that could use those deficiencies against Ball State. The two teams have nearly identical records (9-3-2 versus 9-4-2), but the Cardinals have had more success in conference.

The Bulls are second in the Mid-American Conference in goals allowed overall and per game average. Roberts said he recognizes it will be very difficult to penetrate their backline.

"They are a team that is very defensive minded for the most part," Roberts said. "Their defense sits back further than any other team that we'll have played against this year. That's always hard to come out and breakdown a team that doesn't really play. We have to be patient and execute our attacks very precisely."

With such a tightly compacted defense, goals will be hard to come by. Ball State can't afford another slow starts that plagued them in its previous games over the weekend.

The Cardinals haven't lost a game in almost three weeks. Sophomore defender/midfielder Kelsey Shapiro said the their over confidence may have led to the team coming out a bit flat.

"Because we have been winning, sometimes we've been expecting it [to win]," Shapiro said. "We need to come out stronger and stay positive. And know that every game we still have to work and try for it [the win]."