The Ball State soccer team celebrates a goal made during the game against Morehead State on Sept. 16, 2016 at the Briner Sports Complex. Ball State plays at Xavier on Friday and against Appalachian State at home on Sunday. Grace Ramey, DN File
Ball State soccer aims for consistency
Ball State soccer opened their season last week with games against Fort Wayne (0-2) and No. 18 Notre Dame (1-0-1). With a 1-1 record, the team will continue play on Friday as they travel to Xavier.
With a 2-0 victory over Fort Wayne and a 4-0 loss to Notre Dame, head coach Craig Roberts would like to see his team start to build consistency as they progress into the season.
“We need to be able to play at a faster level and maintain concentration discipline for an extended period of time and have a more consistent performance for the entire game,” Roberts said. “We need to do well for all three quarters and not drop off.”
The Cardinals played the Fighting Irish even through the first half of the game, before Notre Dame scored their first of four goals 13 minutes into the second half.
As they progress into the season, Roberts would like to see a stronger effort through the entirety of the game.
“Besides competing for the full 90 minutes, consistency is going to allow us to achieve the highest level of performance for us and remain discipline in that part,” Roberts said. “We also need to concentrate on certain parts to maintain during the highest level of performance.”
Beyond consistency, the Cardinals also set the goal to improve in each game played.
“It’s nice knowing that we performed so well against Notre Dame and had a lot of positives,” Roberts said. “We are not at full strength yet and didn’t play them with a full squad. Once everyone is cleared and free of injury, we will have an even stronger team, which is exciting for the future.”
The addition of nine freshmen to the 2017 roster will also play a role in the day-by-day improvements.
“We want the freshmen to come in and really push for playing time,” Roberts said. “We’ve definitely lifted the playing standard this season and look at every game as a preparation game and learning opportunity while moving forward. If we do this, we’re going to be as strong as we possibly can.”
The Cardinals will move into their third game of the season on Friday when they travel to Xavier. The Musketeers are 1-1 after they opened the season with a 3-2 win over Cleveland State and a 3-1 loss to Duke.
First touch is set for Friday at 4:30 p.m. at XU Soccer Complex. Ball State will then close out the weekend as Appalachian State comes to Briner Sports Complex at 12 p.m.