The Ball State women's soccer team split a pair of decisions over the weekend, defeating Marshall University in a miraculous 4-3 comeback victory and losing to 13th ranked Purdue on Sunday 2-0.
The win over Marshall guaranteed the Cardinals a second place finish in the Mid-American Conference. The team also found out that they will take on seventh place Western Michigan in the MAC tournament in Muncie on Nov. 5.
With around 20 minutes left in the Marshall game, Ball State found themselves trailing 3-0. Two Kate Nadalin scores later and the Cardinals were within a goal with less than two minutes remaining.
It was then that sophomore Dee Nocero was awarded a penalty kick, which she converted. That sent the game into a sudden death, or golden goal, overtime.
In the extra session, with play going scoreless up to the final minute, Nocero scored her second goal of the afternoon off a pass from senior Eileen Weinheimer, giving the Cardinals the win.
Nocero and Nadalin are now tied for the team lead in goals, with ten each. Nadalin was awarded MAC player of the week honors as well.
"I have never coached a team who has made a comeback like we did today," said head coach Ron Rainey. "Western Michigan became a little tentative with that three goal lead, but that's a credit to our team for never giving up. During the game there was a lot of positive talk going on out there. We may not see one this thrilling in another 10 years."
In Sunday's loss to Purdue, Ball State was unable to withstand the Boilers' ferocious attack, which took a total of 22 shots to Ball State's six.
"They put us under a lot of pressure," said Rainey. "We were able to stay close, but they played really well and they're a very good team. Overall, I liked a lot of the things we did today. We need to do a lot of the same things we did today against IPFW to be successful."
The Cardinals will take on IPFW today in the final regular season game of the year. The MAC tournament will begin on Nov. 5 with the Cardinals playing the first two rounds at home.