Back on the road again, Ball State Soccer (3-1, 0-0 MAC) will head just over the border into Illinois to take on Western Illinois (1-3, 0-0 Summit).
The Cardinals have been on the road since Aug. 17, playing in three different states from South Carolina to Kentucky. According to head coach Craig Roberts, the team has been taking this road play as an advantage.
“I think it is really good in training our approach to the game,” Roberts said. “When you’re on the road, you have a lot more distractions and things that can go wrong, but the mental toughness is produced and the discipline is produced and organized and focused.”
While being on the road has had its benefits, all the travel has presented challenges as well. Before athletes, these players are students.
“We have a few trips at the beginning of the season and it is hard sometimes because of homework and everything while we are on the trip,” senior Paula Guerrero. "It’s hard to be concentrated all the time.”
Despite homework and distractions, the Cardinals are confident they will get the job done on Sunday. The Cardinals are coming off a successful weekend in South Carolina after a 3-0 win over College of Charleston and led Souther Charleston 2-0 before cancelling the game due to lightning.
“We are working during practices on the strategies we want to work on, and tactically we are learning new things too defensively and offensively,” Guerrero said. “So, I think we are going to bring new things to the table and I think when we put everything together, we will have a good game.”
On the other side of the field, the Leathernecks have one win on the season over Northern Illinois, 1-0. The Leathernecks are coming off a 3-1 loss to Louisiana Tech a week ago.
The Cardinals will take on the Leathernecks Sunday at 1 p.m. CST in Macomb, Illinois.