For the second time in three games, double overtime was needed for Ball State Soccer (11-3, 4-1 MAC) Sunday. After scoring the double overtime game-winning goal Oct. 6 at Buffalo, senior midfielder/forward Julia Elvbo did just that in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Western Michigan (5-7-1, 3-2-1 MAC).
The goal was Elvbo’s third of the season, and the game was also her fourth consecutive recording at least one point. With Elvbo’s goal, the Cardinals have now extended their MAC win streak to five games.
In her senior season, head coach Josh Rife said Elvbo has consistently been working to improve her offense, resulting in a more balanced attack for the Cardinals.
“[Elvbo] is someone for the last several weeks, has been putting in a lot of extra work,” Rife said. “Outside of training, she’s been scheduling certain times to continue to get better. When she’s scored these goals in timely moments for us, I think it’s indicative of all the hard work she’s been putting in.”
With the win, the Cardinals are 3-0 in overtime games this season. Ball State has not lost on the road to a MAC opponent in over a year, dating back to a 1-0 defeat at Kent State on Sept. 28, 2018.
“I’m happy that we’re finding ways to win,” Rife said, “and we’re getting contributions from a lot of people. When you put yourself in tight games like this, it’s stressful, but I think the girls are handling it well.”
Ball State began the game up 5-2 shots, including four from senior forward Sam Kambol, but a goal from Broncos’ senior midfielder Grace Labadie gave Western Michigan a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute into the first half. However, redshirt freshman Claudia Como recorded her second of the season in the 36th minute to tie the game 1-1 come halftime.
With both defenses playing strong, neither team found the back of the net in the second half. The heavy defensive play extended into the first overtime, with neither side taking a shot from the 90th to 100th minute.
After taking the first shot of double overtime, Elvbo broke through in 104th minute with an assist from senior midfielder Peighton Cook to give the Cardinals the win.
“We’re fortunate that we have depth, and we’ve been using it,” Rife said. “Everybody’s been able to make contributions. I think it’s easy for players who don’t get minutes to get discouraged, but this group continues to push each other every day.”
The Cardinals will continue their three-game road trip Friday, Oct. 18 at Toledo.