It was all smiles in Briner Sports Complex as Ball State took down Saint Louis 2-1 to earn the Cardinals’ third win in a row. However, it was the first in front of their hometown fans.
The Cardinals came home to Muncie after spending almost a month on the road to face a familiar opponent in Saint Louis, a team they faced in an exhibition in mid-August.
“We were on the road for the first three weekends so it’s always a challenge,” head coach Caitlin Walsh said. “Coming back here, and seeing our fans, our families and friends, it brought that extra energy and motivation.”
The first quarter started off with the Cardinals and Bilikins holding each other scoreless, as both sides only registered one shot, and both sides failed to get any momentum going.
The scoreless tie was broken in the second quarter when the Cardinals senior defender Michaela Graney delivered a strike on a penalty corner that froze the Bilikins’ goalie Kerri O’Donnell. Ball State ended the first half having only let up two shots while taking six.
After a very evenly matched third quarter, the Bilikins found a way to tie the game after a shot by senior midfielder Brooke Mason sailed over goalie Hannah Johnston’s shoulder to knock in the game-tying goal for the Bilikins.
Desperately needing a goal, the Cardinals got one. Midway through the fourth, sophomore Fleur Knopert put one past O’Donnell to seal the game for Ball State and extend the win streak to three.
Walsh reiterated that the Cardinals aren’t ones to give up, and she said they’ll always find a way to win and play together. She said if they continue to play hard and together they can have success.
Ball State plays Central Michigan at the Briner Sports Complex Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. for the Cardinals’ second conference game.