The women's soccer team dropped a big match at home on Sunday afternoon, losing to Mid-American Conference front-runner Miami of Ohio 2-0.
The loss, along with Friday's 4-0 victory over IUPUI, moved the team's overall record to 10-4 and 6-3 in the conference. It was the first time this season that Ball State lost a conference match at home, and it dropped the Cardinals to two games behind Miami with three games remaining.
Miami came with its intensity early, outshooting Ball State in the first half 14-4. The game ended with Miami having taken 27 shots to Ball State's seven.
Despite the high number of Miami shots in the first half, the game remained even until the 73rd minute, when reigning reigning MAC player of the year Andrea Cunningham scored to give the RedHawks the 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later, Ashley Swinehart tacked on another goal to seal the victory.
"We could've played better," head coach Ron Rainey said. "But they're the best team in the conference and they played that way."
Rainey also said that Miami deserved most of the credit because they controlled the Cardinals from the start.
"We've lost two in a row in the conference now, but they've been against really good teams," Rainey said. "One of our goals has been to host the first round game of the MAC tournament, and we certainly need good results in our last three matches."
In Friday's match against IUPUI, sophomore Dee Nocero scored the first of her two goals within the first few minutes of the match to give the Cardinals the early 1-0 lead. She scored again in the 53rd minute of the second half. In the 39th minute of the first half, sophomore Kate Nadalin scored, and that, coupled with an IUPUI own-goal, made the final score 4-0.
"We did what we had to do today to get the win," Rainey said. "Matches against in-state rivals are always important, so it's a nice win for us. It was a team effort, and we were able to get everyone in the game and they all played solid."
The Cardinals will play two more conference games next weekend on the road, at Western Michigan and Northern Illinois, before returning home to face Marshall Oct. 25.