Junior midfielder Paula Guerrero gains control over the ball during the game against Appalachian State at the Briner Sports Complex on Aug. 27. The Cardinals will play Western Illinois Sept. 15 on senior night. Kyle Crawford, DN File
Soccer closes out non-conference play at senior night
Ball State soccer will head into Friday’s contest with some emotions.
The team will be celebrating its senior night on the last non-conference game of the season, per usual. Ball State (1-5-1) will return home to host Western Illinois (0-6).
“Going into this weekend will be emotional because it will be senior day,” head coach Craig Roberts said. “It’s going to be beneficial for us to return home and play on our home field.”
Ball State will honor seven seniors on Friday at Briner Sports Complex to close out non-conference play.
“I think that every person that plays at Ball State needs to be recognized for what they’ve done,” Roberts said. “The amount of effort these seniors have put into the program on a day-to-day basis is tremendous. I’ve been able to see them grow and mature as not just soccer players, but as people.”
The Cardinals played IUPUI Friday, when they fell 1-0 to the Jaguars to put them on a three-game losing streak. However, Roberts has high hopes as they move into conference play next Friday.
“I’m not broken-hearted that we aren’t doing it right now because this isn’t the peak time for us as we’re still in non-conference play,” Roberts said. “We are inches away getting the performances we want.”
Friday’s game marked the first game this season where the entirety of the roster was healthy and cleared to play. With almost the whole team in action, the Cardinals will compete against the Leathernecks for the jersey that is passed between the two teams.
“The girls recognize the importance of playing for the jersey,” Roberts said. “They realize what they need to do as a tradition for the program and I think that momentum will carry over into the conference season.”
The transition into conference play will start with a road-meeting between Ball State and Bowling Green, a team that has played under a new head coach all season.
“Bowling Green is a revamped team with new energy due to a new coach,” Roberts said. “They’re predicted to come in last in the conference, but I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s going to be an oversight and I’m expecting tough competition in that game.”
Ball State will close out non-conference play as they host Western Illinois for Senior Night on Friday. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. at Briner Sports Complex.