Ball State Soccer (6-9-2, 4-5-2 MAC) finishes its season with a bang, as the Cardinals defeat Miami (Ohio) (8-8-3, 5-6 MAC), 2-0.
Both teams went scoreless for the first 70 minutes before the Cardinals broke the tie. In the 71st minute, Redhawks senior goalkeeper Izzie Vaccari saved a Ball State shot, but the ball bounced right to Cardinals' senior midfielder Jenna Dombrowski, who fired the shot in between Vaccari to the right post into the back of the net.
“We knew the position we were in in the conference, and this is the way we wanted to end the season,” Dombrowski said. “It felt really good to get one today. It was already a special day, with everyone celebrating our careers, and it felt really nice to put it in the back of the net today.”
In the 79th minute, freshman forward Lexi Fraley had a one-on-one with Vaccari. Fraley faked left, shot right and found the back of the net to score the final goal of the season for the Cardinals.
“It felt good, but honestly, I’m just happy that we ended with a win,” Fraley said. “We obviously had a tough season with results, so this was a good way to end it.”
Ball State outshot Miami (Ohio) 13-10. Both teams had six shots on goal. Ball State senior goalkeeper Alex DeRuvo got her fourth shutout of the season, finishing with six saves. Vaccari had four for the RedHawks.
Head coah Josh Rife was impressed with how his team finished the season.
“We played really well,” Rife said. “I’d say the first 10, 15 minutes we were struggling to get a little rhythm, but we started to get a hold of the game, and from that point on, it felt like it was going our way. I thought they played great.”
This win was big for the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and with this loss, Miami (Ohio) was knocked out of the MAC Tournament.
Ball State finished the season with a record of 6-9-2, with both ties in the MAC.
Rife said he likes Ball State’s chances going into the off-season.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have a very veteran team,” Rife said. “One of the questions you ask when you have a veteran team is, ‘What are you going to do when they leave?’ So, to have some experience coming back, and to see some of your young players contributing this year, it builds confidence.”
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