Ball State's win streak continues at Akron

The Cardinals win late even though they were out-shot.

A Ball State soccer player dribbles the ball against Toledo Sept. 28 at Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals won 2-1 againt the Rockets. Daniel Kehn, DN
A Ball State soccer player dribbles the ball against Toledo Sept. 28 at Briner Sports Complex. The Cardinals won 2-1 againt the Rockets. Daniel Kehn, DN

After facing a strong attack made up of 24 shots and 9 corner kicks, Ball State narrowly won their match against Akron, 2-1. 

This is the Cardinals’ third win in a row and improves their overall record to 7-5-2, changing their Mid-American Conference (MAC) record to 5-0-2. 

The Zips took control of possession early, making offensive efforts difficult for the Cardinals. Ball State was outshot by nine at the end of the first half when the score was 1-1.

“Nights like this come,”  junior defender Maya Millis said. “Lately, we’ve had it going our way… but having the integrity, discipline and the grit to stay strong and keep our line together is a big deal.”

Akron continued throughout the second and looked like a draw was imminent. This changed with just four minutes left as senior forward Avery Fenchel scored her second goal of the night, sealing the win.

Head coach of the Cardinals Josh Rife had a lot to say after this win and its significance on his team's front and backline abilities to persevere and succeed.

“Almost all of their [Akron] games are one-goal games, they’re tough and stingy defensively,” Rife said. “We talk about how we’re going to give up shots, but how can we make those shots predictable and manageable. They got some shots on goal but not a lot that tested us.”

Millis says a lot of practice and chemistry is what keeps her and the line strong. With Ball State clearing balls the whole match. 

“We do work together very well. From the beginning of the season to now, we’ve definitely learned to play off of each other,” Millis said. “Definitely the communication and sticking together is a big deal with us and we’ve been having success with it. It’s great.”

Ball State came out on top today with the performance by junior goalkeeper Bethany Moser and her 10 saves, a new season high. 

“It [the box] was definitely busy,” Moser said. “Their record might not show that, but I think Akron is really good, and a lot of teams probably underestimate them. They’re very technical and it was nice to be able to come up with the result that we did.”

Moser accredited her success tonight to her teammates and that aforementioned backline. She said that without them, the scoreline would be much different. 

“A lot of the saves are because of my teammates,” Moser said. “Just by creating angles or pushing them to the side in order to make the shot easier to save. A lot of it comes from them doing their job to help me do mine.”

Regardless of this success, Rife does admit that today's game, as always, shows room for improvement, as the team gave up 9 corners, one of them producing a goal for the Zips.

“I don’t like that we’re giving them [Akron] corners,” Rife said. “Teams are going to do a good job, but can we always get a little bit better. We cannot defend nine corners every game and expect to not be punished. Obviously, we paid for it today.”

With this win and Bowling Greens' loss tonight in their own MAC game, Ball State is currently sitting at the top spot of the conference. Moser commented on this and the Cardinals growing target on their backs.

“Our target keeps growing, especially after today's result,” Moser said, “Teams are going to look at this and think they can break us down. It is definitely a factor moving forward”

Ball State returns home Sunday, Oct. 15th at 1 p.m. to face Ohio.

Contact Trinity Rea via email at or on X@thetrinityrea.


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