For its second consecutive game, Ball State Soccer (5-2, 0-0 MAC) could not find the back of the net. The Cardinals were shut out 2-0 Sunday by Florida Gulf Coast (3-3, 0-0 ASUN) to end their season-opening road trip at a record of 1-2.
In the loss, the Cardinals were shut out for the first time in back-to-back games since 3-0 and 1-0 losses against Bowling Green and Kent State on Sept. 23 and Sept. 28, 2018.
Head coach Josh Rife said he saw many similarities between Sunday’s game and Friday’s against Florida Atlantic, including an improved second half despite the loss.
“We had opportunities to get chances,” Rife said. “I thought we finished the game as well as we could.”
Senior midfielder/forward Marjorie Boilesen opened the scoring for the Eagles at 30:36 into the first half. The Eagles outshot the Cardinals 8-1 in the first half.
Early in the second half, graduate student goalkeeper Tristen Stuteville received a red card. Boilesen would then notch her second of the game on a free kick against sophomore goalkeeper Alex Deruvo, who made her season debut and played the rest of the game.
“It was unfortunate to take the red card,” Rife said. “Tristen kind of got caught. There was not a lot of argument about the call and what happened.”
While the Cardinals outshot the Eagles 5-2 in the final 45 minutes, it was not enough to spark a comeback. Ball State hurt its chances of gaining momentum, drawing 10 fouls received during the game.
“We gotta go back, look at ourselves, and find ways we can start a little better,” Rife said. “Both games, we kind of got behind a little early, which is always tough in any environment. I thought as the game went on, we kind of grew into it and get our legs going.”
Heading back to Muncie for a three-game homestand, Rife hopes the comforts of Briner Sports Complex will ultimately help the Cardinals regain their winning ways. Combined with this season and the 2018 season, the Cardinals continue to hold an eight-game win streak at home.
“Hopefully we have the right mentality,” Rife said. “There is a whole lot of season left to play. [This weekend] sucked, but it’s not going to define our season.”
Ball State will be back in action Friday vs. Purdue Fort Wayne at 5 p.m. in its final non-conference tilt of 2019.