SOCCER: Ball State wins in Colorado despite delay
The Daily News
With only 22 seconds left in the second overtime, junior forward Nicole Pembleton chipped a ball that grazed Air Force’s senior goalkeeper Kelly Stambaugh to break the scoreless stalemate and give Ball State its “icing for the weekend.”
“We were definitely hungry out there,” head coach Craig Roberts said. “We had an enjoyable and educational weekend [in Colorado] and we wanted to leave the right way.”
Ball State started the match with extra intensity, coming off its second loss of the season to Colorado College on Friday, and generated some early opportunities, Roberts said.
Earlier last week Roberts said environment — namely the 5,000 added feet in elevation — would be Ball State’s biggest challenge. He was partially right. Twenty-five minutes into the match, play was halted at the Cadet Soccer Stadium due to lightning.
After 45 minutes, play was resumed at the Holaday Athletic Center. Roberts said the new field doubled as a football practice facility and the lines posed a new set of problems.
“It was tough to see [where lines ended and started],” Roberts said. “But we just said we were going to control what we could.”
Roberts said the match teetered back and forth, with both sides creating anxious moments. Air Force did just edge Ball State in shots, 17-15 and shots on goal 11-10.
Despite the numerous opportunities for Air Force, Ball State’s defense proved once again to be a formidable group. With senior Layne Schramm saving all 11 shots on target, Ball State recorded its conference-leading fourth shutout of the year.
“Layne showed her experience,” Roberts said. “She controlled the box well and came up with saves when she was tested.”
Schramm and Ball State’s five key defensive players were the only ones to play all 110 minutes in the 1-0 double-overtime victory.
Ball State’s season trend of finding offensive opportunities by cycling players continued, even though Roberts elected to use the fewest substitutions of the year — six. Sophomore midfielder Elaina Musleh played 72 minutes and recorded her fourth assist of the year off the bench.
“I was really pleased with the way the girls acclimated,” Roberts said. “They never made any excuses; they just got the job done.”