Junior midfielder Elaina Musleh attempts to score a goal during a game. DN PHOTO JORDAN HUFFER
SOCCER: Cardinals prepare for semifinals
The last time the Ball State soccer team played Buffalo, the Cardinals lost on a penalty kick the Bulls received because of a blown call on a handball.
When the two teams match up in the Mid-American Conference semifinals on Friday, head coach Craig Roberts wants his team to be focused on the present and not the past.
“In the end, we have to just respect the call. We can’t do anything about it,” Roberts said. “We are getting a second bite of the cherry here, and we are going to go in with a lot of confidence.”
Against fifth seeded Kent State in Sunday's quarterfinals, junior Elaina Musleh sparked a Cardinal offense that had failed to score more than one goal in seven of its previous eight matches.
Musleh scored twice, the only goals the Cardinals scored, but a strong defensive performance and the team's ninth shutout of the season were enough to secure the win.
Despite managing to only score twice, Roberts said he liked the aggression his team showed.
“They took a lot of shots when they had opportunities instead of looking for the assist,” Roberts said. “That’s something we will be promoting as we continue to build the confidence into the match.”
Confidence is an area that Ball State isn't lacking looking forward to the matchup with Buffalo, as the Cardinals have won two of their last three road matches.
The Cardinals will look to continue this streak as they attempt to hand the Bulls their first loss to a MAC team this season. Buffalo finished 9-0-2 in regular season conference play and will host the remainder of the tournament as a reward for clinching the No 1. seed.
Friday's match begins at 4 p.m.