The Ball State soccer team faced Eastern Michigan on Sept. 25 at the Briner Sports Complex. Ball State won 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference opener.
Offense leads Ball State to 4-0 start in MAC
The Ball State soccer team is off to a 4-0 start in Mid-American Conference play, and the Cardinals are doing it with offense.
The MAC's last undefeated team swept two matches last weekend and extended its winning streak to five matches. Ball State outshot its opponent in all five of those matches.
Through tough weather conditions, injuries and sickness, the Cardinals' offense stepped up, and a next-man-up mentality led them to victory.
Ball State - Offensive Stats
Goals - 22
Assists - 14
Points - 58
Shots - 223
Shots on goal - 95
“One thing we talk about is being prepared — having each player ready to play any position at any time, and we did a good job of doing just that," head coach Craig Roberts said.
The wind was a huge factor against Toledo on Oct. 2, where it affected many shots during the match. Freshman Abbie Boswell scored twice and junior Leah Mattingly added a late goal to cap off a 3-1 win against the Rockets.
Two days later, Ball State won a tight contest against Central Michigan in which captains Chelsy Swackhamer and Mattingly scored. Both goals came in the second half of a 2-1 victory.
Mattingly has now scored a goal in three of the last four matches. In addition to her offensive surge, Mattingly received the MAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week award for her play over the weekend.
Ball State leads the MAC with 223 shots and has 10 different players who have scored a goal this season.
Sometimes the best offense is a good defense, however.
“Our back line has played very intelligent so far,” Roberts said. “They create our chance for offense, and it has showed, as we like to pressure others' defense.”
Ball State has allowed more than one goal just one time this season, a 2-0 loss to Lipscomb on Aug. 23.
The Cardinals have scored 22 goals so far, averaging 1.83 per match. They have allowed 10 total goals. Only two MAC schools have conceded fewer goals than Ball State.
Ball State will put its win streak to the test on Oct. 9 with a home match against Kent State. The Flashes lead the MAC East Division and are on top of the entire conference in goals scored.