The soccer team started in 1999. Since then, it hods a record of 194-137-49. Kara Berg, DN File
Ball State soccer: Conference championships and academic accolades
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Although it is one of the younger sports programs at the university, Ball State soccer has recently found a winning recipe.
Started in 1999, the program holds a record of 194-137-49. Ball State has won the Mid-American Conference Championship four times. With its regular season conference championships coming in 2006, 2007, 2015 and 2016, the Cardinals are the only MAC program to finish at the top of the conference in back-to-back years.
Current head coach Craig Roberts has been at the helm for much of the program’s success. His 85 victories since arriving at Ball State in 2010 makes him the winningest coach in team history. Under Roberts, the Cardinals have won 10 or more games in five consecutive seasons, including a 27-3-3 record in the MAC over the last three seasons.
In 2016, Roberts led the team to a school record streak of 10 games unbeaten, including a win over Atlantic Coast Conference foe Louisville to give the team its first victory over a Power 5 opponent since 2006.
He also has experience coaching at the national team level, assisting the Puerto Rico Women’s National Team and previously doing the same for Haiti. This experience has led to him coaching against a World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team and players such as Alex Morgan and Hope Solo. Roberts will enter his ninth year as head coach of Ball State in 2018.
On the pitch, numerous players have impacted the program.
Most recently, goalkeeper Alyssa Heintschel left a lasting impact when she broke the school record for most wins by a keeper with her 36th in a 1-0 victory at Miami Oct. 26, 2017, which was the last regular season match of her career. She also holds first place in school history with just a 0.77 goals against average and is second in career shutouts with 22.
On the offensive end, Dee Nocero set the bar for career goals early in the program’s history. She found the back of the net 30 times between 2001-2004, a mark that still stands. Nocero is also was named to the All-Mac First Team three times, doing so in her sophomore, junior and senior years.
Leah Mattingly and Emily Rein join Nocero as the only players in team history to receive the All-MAC honor three times.
Lorina White held down the back line throughout her career and is the only player in MAC history to win back-to-back conference Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2015 and 2016.
The team has consistently excelled in the classroom as well. In 2017, Ball State soccer led their conference with 13 players named to the Academic All-MAC team and the team had an average GPA of just under 3.6.
The only major accolade that still eludes the program is a MAC Tournament Championship. Ball State lost its only championship appearance in 2013 to Western Michigan. With the team’s continued improvement, the championship may soon be on the horizon.