Sophomore forward Sam Kambol and junior midfielder Amanda Shaw lead Ball State soccer to a dominant 3-0 victory over Western Illinois tonight as Kambol found the net twice and Shaw added a goal of her own in the Cardinal’s (2-5-1) first home game since August. 

“[The win] was very important for us, especially with next week being the start of the MAC schedule,” Kambol said. “We were going to set a standard, especially with it being senior night. We played for our seniors and were able to get out of a rut right before MAC play, which is a great start.”

The Cardinals showed a strong performance in the middle third of the field with aggressive defense throughout the game.

“I was really happy to get back to our winning ways and remain undefeated at home,” head coach Craig Roberts said. “We’ve been on the verge of things going right for us and overall, tonight was a very positive performance.”

Ball State outshot Western Illinois by a wide margin of 17-4, with seven shots on goal. The Cardinals goalkeepers weren’t tested much throughout the night, thanks to a strong defensive performance that kept Western Illinois out of attacking position.

The turning point of the game came early in the 26th minute as Kambol recorded her first goal of the night thanks to a well-placed touch from sophomore midfielder Peighton Cook inside the box after junior forward Emily Scott got the sequence started with a pair of attacking dribbles.

The pace was slow up to the 53rd minute, Shaw put a 15-yard shot to the net to mark her second goal of the season after she successfully gathered a pass behind her.

Kambol subbed back into the game and found the back of the net just inside the 18-yard box, courtesy of a assist from senior defender Lucy Walton.

Kambol and Shaw are the only Cardinals to record multiple goals this season, with three and two, respectively. Roberts is taking this win as a step in the right direction as they return to the road again in Mid-American Conference play. 

“We need to maintain consistency,  and we need to find the back of the net when we create opportunities because we will find opportunities throughout the game," Roberts said. "It's good to see Sam getting two goals and getting back to her scoring ways. She’s been on a bit of a drought but getting two will hopefully open the flood gates."

Ball State will get a week off before returning to the road next week to face Bowling Green Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

Noteworthy: With her win tonight, Alyssa Heintschel recorded her 31st victory as a starter, moving into sole possession of third place in school history, now three wins away from tying Rachael Murphy’s record of 34 wins.