Found the inside pass. Took it wide. Sent it into the box. Jumped up for a header and suddenly the Cardinal fans are on their feet celebrating a goal.
Second-year defender Maya Mills said she came out ready for a fight as Ball State Soccer took on Northern Illinois Sept. 29. Mills took time before the game to prepare while having her pregame Panera meal, teriyaki broccoli bowl with a yogurt parfait and a cinnamon swirl bagel, and listening to music.
Meanwhile, third-year midfielder Avery Fenchel said she gets a healthy breakfast and gets her hair done with her teammates before each game. Fenchel takes a little time for herself in the locker room before every game to go through some game visualization while listening to “Run This Town” by Rihanna.
“We started off a little slow today but our response put us right back in the game,” Fenchel said.
The Huskies' Claudia Muessig helped Northern Illinois start fast with a left-footed goal, assisted by Jamie Ward within the first twelve minutes of the game.
The Cardinals came back and came out on top, scoring four goals all while holding the Huskies to their lone goal for the remainder of the game. The first goal was, “a wake up call,” and “a harsh lesson,” said Mills and head Coach Josh Rife.
Only 10 minutes after NIU put one on the board, Fenchel tied the game with an assist from second-year forward Lexi Fraley.
Coming out in the second half, fourth-year midfielder Tiffani Torres makes a messy goal, assisted by second-year defender Alex McPhee, after the Huskies' goalie, Deighton Wamer, let the ball slip through her hands.
In the 53rd minute, Fenchel read the play from Fraley, giving Fenchel the goal – it was the fifth straight game Fenchel was on the score sheet. Fraley passed the ball into the box allowing Fenchel to head it in the back of the net.
With 23 minutes left in the game, the Cardinals put one more on the board resulting in a 4-1 win. First-year forward Emily Roper found the top right corner, assisted by third-year defender Abby Elgert and second-year midfielder Kaitlyn Fraser.
Ball State is heading out on the road Oct. 2 to face Bowling Green State University at 1 p.m.
"They are a good opponent so we can’t come out flat, we have to be ready the whole time,” Mills said.
Contact Meghan Sawitzke with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MSawitzke.