Sometimes one goal is all that is needed to win a game.
That’s all it took for No. 23 Xavier (6-0) to stay perfect, beating Ball State (2-3) Thursday night 1-0.
“A loss is a loss.” head coach Josh Rife said. “There are no moral victories. But, to continuously play these teams close and tough, you continue to hope that these are lessons learned.”
The lone goal came from junior forward Emma Marcus, who received a pass from freshman forward Chloe Netzel and put it in the back of the net in the 22nd minute for her first goal of the season. Despite 23 total shots, 14 by Xavier and nine by Ball State, Marcus’ goal was the only one that found its way behind the keeper.
After a successful day of shooting in Ball State's last game against Purdue-Fort Wayne, the well ran dry for the Cardinals, with only one of their nine shots being on goal, that shot coming from senior midfielder Sammi Corcoran in the seventh minute.
After a clean first half, with the only blemish being a foul against Xavier early in the game, both teams combined for 13 fouls, with seven on the Cardinals and six on the Musketeers.
“As the game goes on and the intensity continues to ramp up, I think that there will be moments where the referees make certain calls a little different,” Rife said. “You’ve got to continue to play the game smart. I don’t think our girls did anything different, just the intensity ramped up a little more.”
Despite the shooting numbers decreasing, Coach Rife loved the Cardinals' effort against a top-25 opponent.
“It sucks to lose, but we went down fighting.” Coach Rife said. “I thought the players executed the game plan really well. I thought we did a really good job of limiting our opponents' opportunities. That’s the reality of it. When you play good teams, you’re going to get less opportunities. We’ve got to find a way to be more efficient when you have those chances.”
Ball State will play next on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m. against Butler at Briner Sports Complex for their last non-conference matchup.