Onslaught of shots help lift Cardinals over Mastodons Sunday afternoon

Redshirt junior midfielder Nicky Potts kicks the ball April 11, 2021, at Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals beat the Eagles 2-1 to become the Mid-American Conference West Division champions. Jaden Whiteman, DN
Redshirt junior midfielder Nicky Potts kicks the ball April 11, 2021, at Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals beat the Eagles 2-1 to become the Mid-American Conference West Division champions. Jaden Whiteman, DN

For the first time since 2019, Ball State soccer experienced a win in its home stadium in front of fans.

Ball State (2-2) used its home field advantage to secure a 3-1 victory against Purdue-Fort Wayne (1-2-3) Sunday afternoon.

“It was great," said head coach Josh Rife. "It felt great, and I think that made a great atmosphere for the fans, and, obviously, you want to protect home field.”

The Cardinals started their scoring off in the 35th minute, when sophomore midfielder Avery Fenchel connected on a solo shot. It was Fenchel's first goal of her collegiate career.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a year now.” Fenchel said. “It was pretty exciting. It was a good team effort, getting the ball up there and finding me in the open space, but, to rip a clean shot felt really good.”

Ball State held its lead until the 47th minute, when the Matodons got on the board. Sophomore midfielder Zoe Greenhalge convertd a penalty kick after a hand ball in the box committed by the Cardindals.

Later in the match, Ball State freshman defender Maya Millis sent a pass between defenders to set up senior midfielder Chelcy Ralph for the go-ahead goal. 

Cardinals junior midfielder Chelcy Ralph looks to kick a thrown-in ball March 26, 2021, at Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals won 2-1 in overtime. Jacob Musselman, DN

The third and final Cardinals score came from redshirt senior midfielder Nicky Potts, who drilled a penalty kick to extend the Cardinals lead to two.

The Cardinals put up 28 total shots, while holding the Mastodons to four. 

“It’s been a culmination of our season thus far.” Rife said. “As a coach, you’re extremely excited to have that sort of performance and put the numbers up like that."

Rife felt good about finally ending the Cardinal's two game skid.

“It felt great to get some goals today," Rife said. "In spite of those two losses, eight goals in four games, that’s pretty good. We’ll take that. We’ll continue to work on the defensive side, but to get goals like that, it’s pretty good.”

Ball State will travel to Xavier on Sept. 9. The game begins at 6 p.m.

Contact Nate Grubb with comments at nathaniel.grubb@bsu.edu or on Twitter @GrubbNate43



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