Junior midfielder/forward Allison Abbe goes to kick the ball during women's soccer's match against Xavier University. The team tied 1-1 after a double overtime. Kara Berg // DN
Ball State soccer takes winning streak to Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan
Ball State soccer is one of four teams in the Mid-American Conference with a perfect conference record, but the Cardinals will put that on the line this weekend with a two-stop road trip in Michigan.
Riding a four-game win streak, Ball State (7-2-1, 2-0 MAC) plays Eastern Michigan (2-6-2, 0-2 MAC) Sept. 30 in Ypsilanti and Central Michigan (9-1-0, 1-1 MAC) Oct. 2 in Mt. Pleasant.
“I think they’re going to have to show up on both days and they’re going to need to be consistent with their performances,” said head coach Craig Roberts. “They were very consistent on [Sept. 23 against Buffalo] but with the MAC play, it’s going to be a duel on both Friday [Sept. 30] and Sunday [Oct. 2]. We need high level performances because any game against a MAC opponent is going to be very demanding.”
Mid-American Conference West Division Standings:
Northern Illinois: 2-0
Ball State: 2-0
Central Michigan: 1-1
Western Michigan: 1-1
Eastern Michigan: 0-2
Last weekend, Ball State took 34 shots in a pair of 1-0 wins against Buffalo and Akron, who combined for just 7 shots. On the season, the Cardinals have 179 shots and only allowed 92 shots against.
“I think we created a lot of opportunities in both games," Roberts said. "... we just need to make sure we’re going to be capitalizing these opportunities we are creating.”
Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, however, could challenge the Cardinals. Eastern Michigan allows 12.4 shots and 1.9 goals per game and Central Michigan allows 10.7 shots and .9 goals per game, while Ball State only scores one goal every 10.5 shots.
But Roberts said the team has been working on capitalizing on created opportunities, especially from the forwards and upperclassmen.
He specifically mentioned three players who could step up this weekend: senior midfielder Chay McNitt, senior defender and defending MAC Defensive Player of the Year Lorina White and freshman forward Sam Kambol.
The Cardinals play Eastern Michigan Sept. 30 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and then go to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Oct. 2 for a matchup with Central Michigan. Ball State's next home game is Oct. 6 against Western Michigan.