Senior defender Lorina White steals the ball away from a Toledo player during the game against Toledo at the Briner Sports Complex on Oct. 16. White was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row. Kyle Crawford // DN
Ball State soccer racks up awards, hopes for at-large bid
For the second season in a row, Ball State soccer defender Lorina White was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
And once again, her award follows a first-round exit from the MAC tournament in penalty kicks after a Ball State regular season championship.
This time, however, the Cardinals' season might not be over — they're hoping for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Ball State awards:
MAC Defensive Player of the Year
Lorina White (also received award in 2015)
First Team All-MAC
Alyssa Heintschel: junior goalkeeper
Leah Mattingly: senior defender
Lorina White: senior defender
Second Team All-MAC
Chay McNitt: senior midfielder
MAC All-Freshman Team
Julia Elvbo: midfielder
Sam Kambol: forward
Yela Ziswiler: defender
"We know that our season ended too soon so we’re more than willing to keep practicing now, even if it’s a small chance we do make it,” sophomore forward Emily Scott said. “I think we all agree that if we do get the opportunity to play, we’re not taking it lightly and we’re going to show how much we deserve to be in the tournament.”
White was also named first-team All-MAC, along with senior defender Leah Mattingly and junior goalkeeper Alyssa Heintschel. It's the second season in a row the trio earned first-team honors.
"I feel so honored to be selected on the [All-MAC] first team again and I'm also so proud of my other teammates who were selected and all the accolades they received as well," Mattingly said. "No one sees the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes so it definitely feels like all of that hard work has paid off."
Aside from first team recognition, senior defensive midfielder Chay McNitt received her first ever All-MAC recognition, being selected to the second team.
Ball State also had three players selected to the MAC All-Freshman team: midfielder Julia Elvbo, forward Sam Kambol and defender Yela Zisweiler.
The Cardinals are currently ranked 49th in the nation according the NCAA RPI rankings. Sixty-four teams make the NCAA tournament, including 33 at-large teams.
Although the ranking bodes well for Ball State's tournament hopes, they won't know their status until the NCAA announces its tournament selections on Nov. 7.