KELLAN DEAM // DN FILE
Ball State still undefeated in MAC play after 7 straight wins
The Ball State soccer team hasn't lost in over a month. Its seven-match win streak is just one away from the school record set in 2006.
The Cardinals (10-2-2) are still undefeated in Mid-American Conference play at 6-0, a feat no other soccer team in school history has been able to reach.
While the team has been dominating recently, it is still focusing on getting better every day.
Oct. 16 at Northern Illinois - 8 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Western Michigan - 1 p.m.
Oct. 23 vs. Akron - 4 p.m.
Oct. 25 vs. Buffalo - 2 p.m.
“We don't focus on the wining streak,” head coach Craig Roberts said. “Our focus is evaluating ourselves. We want to continue to improve, and our team has embraced that.”
The win streak hasn't been easy — four of the victories have been decided by just one goal.
The Cardinals have embraced the “next player up” mentality, which works well with a deep bench. This season, 10 different Cardinals have scored at least one goal this season, and five of them have scored three or more.
During the win streak, Ball State has outscored opponents 16-5, shutting out their opponents on two separate occasions.
Roberts has plenty of depth to get contributions throughout his lineup every match.
“Our bench is very valuable to our team,” Roberts said. “Anyone can contribute. They aren’t our subs, they are our game-changers.”
During the Oct. 11 game against Ohio University, it was the bench that put pressure on the opposing goalie to keep Ball State's win streak alive. Senior Chelsy Swackhamer came off the bench to score what would be the match-winning goal on the way to the team's 2-1 victory.
This year's team is very different from what the Cardinals have been in the past. The Ball State offense has shown its dominance as it sits atop most MAC offensive categories.
The Cardinals now have a target on their back being the only undefeated team in conference play.
“We are ready for it,” freshman Abbie Boswell said. “Teams are coming out wanting to beat us more than ever, but as long as we have that drive, we are confident in our game.”
Ball State is first in MAC standings, three points ahead of Miami (Ohio) and five points against Western Michigan in the West Division.
The Cardinals will look to continue to improve their game and come out on top of a couple away matches this weekend. They visit Northern Illinois (2-11) Oct. 16 and Western Michigan (7-3-3) Oct. 18.