The Ball State Cardinals took on the Ohio Bobcats at home today, in the end, it was a 2-2 draw.
This draw brings Ball State's overall record to 7-5-3 and their Mid-American Conference (MAC) record to 5-0-3. They still remain undefeated in MAC play with three games left in the season.
After being outshot by five at the end of the first half, the score was tied 1-1 thanks to a goal scored by the Cardinal senior forward Avery Fenchel.
Junior Forward Lexi Fraley scored in the second half to bring Ball State on top, 2-1, until Ohio scored the equalizer, and the match ended with the score 2-2.
“Going into these games, we try to have as much energy as possible,” Fraley said. “We try to make the other team uncomfortable.”
The previous couple of games for the Cardinals showed that in the MAC, anything can happen. Fraley echoed this after the match.
“We came out with the tie today, but it would've been better to come out with a win,” Fraley said. “We’ll try to refocus … We are hoping to take this, learn from it, and head on to the next one.”
Constant aggression from the Bobcats made the Cardinals' defense step up today in spite of the draw. In total, the backline faced 23 shots with 14 of them being on goal.
A member of the backline who played well today was junior Alex McPhee. After being subbed in late in the first half and playing well, she ended up starting the second and played the rest of the match.
“It’s good having our chemistry,” McPhee said. “I expect a lot from my defenders and they expect a lot from me. Our job is a little difficult but we’ve been doing pretty well so far [this season].”
McPhee says her strong performance today is because of her motivators.
“We have a chance to win the MAC this year,” McPhee said. “I love all my teammates, I'm playing for them, playing for myself, playing for my family. I always think of my parents when I go out there [on the pitch].”
While the backline did their job, so did junior goalkeeper Bethany Moser. Today, she recorded a career-high 11 saves and faced two penalty kicks, saving one.
“She continues to be solid,” head coach Josh Rife said. “Credit to her as she continues to play well for us.”
Rife also spoke on the team's intensity today, and how the Cardinals' depth continues to help them make adjustments at half.
“You’ve got to be versatile in how you play,” Rife said. “You can't get stuck just doing one thing. As I’ve said all season, the group has done a great job making adjustments at halftime, like today, when we created that second goal.”
The draw today ended Ball State's win streak. Rife says that this can’t be how the season ends.
“There is still everything to play for,” Rife said. “A good result against Buffalo can’t be the highlight of our season… If we want Thursday to be our last road trip of the season and a win, we have to refocus… we still have work to do.”
Ball State travels to Northern Illinois University Thursday, October 19th at 2 p.m. for their last away game of the regular season.
Contact Trinity Rea via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on X@thetrinityrea.