Peter Hoffman

A booming strike from 30 yards out gave the Ball State women's soccer team a 2-1 victory over Mid-American Conference opponent Akron on Sunday.

The goal came off the foot of sophomore midfielder Cailey Starck in the 81st minute of the match. It also happened to be her first career goal.

"I was pretty stoked," Starck said after the game. "It feels good that I did it for the team."

Ball State jumped to an early lead, getting a goal from sophomore Jasmine Moses in the third minute of the game off of a one-touch pass in front of the net.

Coach Craig Roberts was pleased with the fast start, saying that his team "came out of the blocks really well."

Moses' goal was her third in the last four games.

Ball State held the one goal lead until the 38th minute when Akron sophomore Karina Atkinson scored after a quick free kick that caught Ball State's defense off guard. The score remained tied at halftime, 1-1.

The Cardinals dominated the second period, keeping the ball on their side of the field for the majority of the half. The team missed more than a handful of chances at the net, something that frustrated both Ball State fans and Roberts.

Missed chances have "been a continuous story since the start of the season for us," Roberts said. "We tried to find the avenues that would be successful for us."

Starck's goal late in the game broke the tie and gave Ball State the lead and eventually the win.

"The girls showed immense character," Roberts said.

The dramatic victory Sunday improved Ball State's record to 5-3-2 and 2-0 in the MAC.

After the game, Starck stressed how important her team was in the victory and to her.

"We are a big family," she said. "We want this as a team, not individually, but as a team."

Roberts had nothing but praise for his sophomore midfielder.

"Cailey had an outstanding shot for us," he said. "It was something we knew she could do."

He also said right before Starck subbed into the game, he told her that taking that kind of a shot was something she would have the option to do.

"She took it and went with it," he said.

The loss for Akron drops the Zips to 4-5 on the year and 0-2 in the MAC.

The Cardinals will look to carry this momentum as they head into the heart of the conference schedule. They travel to the Buckeye state next weekend to face Kent State and Ohio.

The team returns home to Briner Sports Complex on Oct. 5 to take on Eastern Michigan.
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