Ball State Soccer (13-3-2, MAC 8-2-1) defeated Buffalo (11-8, MAC 5-7) 2-1 in double overtime in the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament Sunday afternoon at Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals won off of two goals by senior midfielder Paulo Guerrero, a goal from the penalty spot, and a game-winning free kick.
In the 104th minute, Guerrero’s strike hit the crossbar and beat Bulls goalkeeper Emily Kelly. Guerrero’s penalty in the 18th minute pushes her to 2/2 this season on penalties. Guerrero’s brace tallies her at three goals this season, which makes her tied second for goals on the roster. She currently leads the team in assists as well, with four to her name.
“I have been practicing these type of free kicks,” Guerrero said. “When the referee called the foul, I said, ‘this is my shot.’”
Guerrero also played a pivotal defensive midfielder role for the Cardinals which she caused several pass break ups and interceptions. Her experienced build-up play helped the Cardinals maintain possession throughout the game.
“I think the game was really affected by the weather conditions,” head Coach Roberts said. “I thought we deserving in the end to get the result.”
The Bulls leveled the score in the 54th minute from a free kick, scored by junior defender Gurjeena Jandu, her third of the season. The Cardinals outshot the Bulls 17 to Aside from the free kick, the Cardinals defense stood tall. Senior goalkeeper Tristin Stuteville had three saves. Senior defender and captain Taylor Poole had several clearances and interceptions. She emphasized her cohesiveness with her and her teammates.
“Its been a great learning curve," Poole said. “I had confidence in my teammates that we were going to get it done.”
The first overtime was limited, but in second overtime, the Cardinals prevailed and ended the Bulls season. The Cardinals have now won their last five meetings against the Bulls.
The No. 2 Cardinals are thriving off an eight game win streak matching the longest win streak in the program since 2015. The Cardinals continue action Friday against No. 3 seed Western Michigan. The Broncos won 1-0 against Akron. The last time the Cardinals played the Broncos, the Cardinals won 3-0 at Briner Sports Complex.