The Ball State Women's Soccer Team gathers for a group hug after winning in overtime in the match against Buffalo on Oct. 25 at the Briner Sports Complex. Allye Clayton // DN File
Ball State soccer remains undefeated at home this season
For the first time in Ball State soccer history, the Cardinals have gone undefeated at home.
Family Weekend proved to be successful for the team, as it won both of its matches at Briner Sports Complex to finish off its perfect regular season home record.
With a win in their final game or a Western Michigan loss, the women’s soccer team will lock up the Mid-American Conference regular season championship title, a feat the team was able to achieve only two times in its history (2006, 2007).
The photographs of each of the current teams are in the locker room, since tradition is something head coach Craig Roberts pushes on his team.
“We talk about cultivating an environment that replicates that,” Roberts said. “We’re not just out here to compete—you want to win things, you want to win championships.”
This year’s team is 9-1 in the conference and 13-3-2 overall. If it comes out with a victory against Miami (9-6-1), its regular season record will surpass both of the championship teams' records from the past, neither of whom were able to win the conference tournament title.
Even with the success of the season, this team’s path is not complete. Roberts hasn’t set goals for the team all season. Instead, he pushes advancement throughout the year.
“We’ve talked about the progression and the journey,” Roberts said. “Our objective is to progress and to continue to progress all the way through the season.”
Roberts said if they set a goal to win the regular season MAC Championship, their season would officially be over.
The season is far from over for the Cardinals. With one match remaining, Ball State is mathematically on pace to be the No. 1 seed moving into the conference tournament. It sits in front of Western Michigan (11-3-3) and Buffalo (10-6-2), each of whom also has one match remaining.
While they look to lock up the No. 1 seed, the Cardinals will be at home on Nov. 1 in the quarterfinal match.
“That’s what will be the main factor right now, is for us to make sure ... to complete that game,” Roberts said. “If we get the win … we will remain as a No. 1 seed, and therefore, we will host and we will bring the MAC Championship to Muncie.”
Whoever is the top remaining seed after the quarterfinal round of the tournament hosts both the semifinal and championship rounds of the tournament.
Briner Sports Complex could prove to be the host of this year's MAC semifinals and championship game if the Cardinals remain on top of the conference.
This weekend’s performance finalized the team’s home success, as it has collectively outscored opponents 11-3 in the six victories.
Coming back from its first lost in eight matches, senior midfielder Madison Oyer scored the only goal in Ball State’s 1-0 victory against Akron during the Senior day game on Oct. 23.
Senior midfielder and forward Chelsy Swackhamer kept the ball rolling on Oct. 25, scoring Ball State’s lone goal in its 1-0 victory against Buffalo.
The final home win will look to surge the Cardinals as they complete the regular season and transition into postseason play.
“As far as morale and confidence, it was a real boost for us today. We really felt that we outplayed Buffalo,” Roberts said. “That was the biggest thing for me, is that at this stage in the season you need to continue to climb that ladder and you need to continue to get better … and we did just that.”