Cardinals off to strongest start in 8 years
Records by Year
2014 - 11-7-2
2013 - 11-7-4
2012 - 8-7-5
2011 - 9-9-3
2010 - 7-10-2
The Cardinals are 4-0 in the Mid-American Conference, marking the third time in team history where they reached this feat, the last two times being in 2006 and 2007.
In both of those years, the Cardinals walked away as MAC regular season champions.
Through the first 12 matches this season, the team's record (8-2-2) is the best in nearly a decade. The last time a team played better in the first dozen matches was 2006 (9-1-2).
“We’re delighted where we’re at right now, we’re in a very good place physically and mentally,” head coach Craig Roberts said. “Our focus is solely on our progression as opposed to the end result, we’re just taking it one game at a time.”
In 2006, the team made it to the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals before losing to Miami (OH) 1-2. The ensuing season they made it to the semi-finals where it lost a double overtime match to Bowling Green off three Falcon penalty kicks.
The Cardinals lost four times at home during the span of those two years. In 2015, they remain undefeated at Briner Sports Complex (2-0-0) with four home matches remaining in the regular season.
“We enjoy the away games, but it’s always nice to be back at home,” Roberts said. “When people come out to support the team, that rallies the team and acts as kind of a 12th man.”
The attendance this season has improved substantially from the past. Against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 25, 562 people arrived to watch the event. This was more than last year, when Ball State failed to bring in more than 400 to a single home game.
Traveling has been a big part of this season, but the Cardinals have not slipped on the road with a 6-1-2 record.
A big part of the success has been control of the offensive game.
Offensively, Ball State has scored 22 times on 223 attempts, averaging 1.83 goals per match with a .099 shot percentage - statistics that are similar to the 2006 team and better than the 2007 team.
“Our style of play is very offensive-minded, the players we have on our team have different ways of attacking,” Roberts said. “We’re a team performance … not just, one player is capitalizing on the goals; we’re spreading it out throughout the team.”
The Cardinals have a well-rounded offense, relying on a team effort rather than a few key players.
While the offense remains the team’s strong suit, this year’s defensive effort has shut down opposition.
The Cardinals' defense has only allowed one team to score more than one goal in any single match. Lipscomb defeated Ball State 2-0 on Aug. 23. The only other loss came to Middle Tennessee on Sept. 6.
It’s been more than one month since the team has experienced defeat, as they continue to dominate MAC competition.
The Cardinals will play their third home match of the year on Oct. 9 against Kent State. The Flashes are front-runners in the MAC East with a 3-1-conference record and a 7-3-2 overall mark.
The match will kick off at 4 p.m. at Briner Sports Complex.