SOCCER: Musleh shoots Ball State into MAC semis
After leading the Ball State soccer team in total points last year, Elaina Musleh has struggled to find that same consistency in the 2014 season.
Entering Sunday’s quarterfinal match against Kent State, the junior midfielder admitted that her confidence wasn’t what it was last year.
“At this point last year, I had five or six goals already,” Musleh said. “Before today, I’ve only been able to score once.”
Against the Golden Flashes, she doubled her season scoring.
With the match knotted at zero midway through the second half, Musleh scored twice within 15 minutes, putting the Cardinals up 2-0.
“After [scoring the] first goal, I just felt my confidence come back to me, and that led to the second goal.” Musleh said.
The two goals proved to be all the Cardinals would need, as Ball State defeated Kent State 2-0 to advance to the conference semifinals.
Head coach Craig Roberts said he wasn’t surprised with Musleh’s performance, and feels it could be all she needs to get back on track.
“We have talked about [Musleh] not just being a good player, but a special player,” Roberts said. “We were waiting and knew that she could break out at any moment.”
The shutout was the ninth time Ball State has shutout an opponnent this year and the sixth time at home.
Ball State will face No. 1 seed Buffalo in a road match on Friday, as the Cardinals seek to avenge a 2-1 loss the last time the two sides played in late October. Buffalo scored the match-winning goal, after a controversial call on a handball awarded the Bulls a penalty kick.
Upon looking at the tape after the match, the call was seen to be incorrect, hitting a Ball State player in the head instead of their hand.
“It was a bad call that really screwed us over,” Musleh said. “We are going out there looking for revenge, because we should have won the first time.”