Ball State draws at Western Michigan 2-2

Ball State remains undefeated in MAC play, but adds another draw making their record 2-0-2.

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 going scoreless for the entire second half, Ball State ended their match against Western Michigan in a draw, 2-2, making them now 2-0-2 in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play.

After a balanced first half with some defensive plays from the Cardinals, they entered the second half leading 2-1. Part of the reason for Ball States' lead was junior midfielder Kaitlyn Fraser. Scoring on the first shot of the game for either team, just six minutes in, resulted in the Cardinals being aggressive and set the tone of the first half. 

“It felt so good!” Fraser laughed, “It really helped us get momentum.”

Fraser has frequently made an impact in the midfield this season, whether it's making defensive plays or setting up her teammates offensively, she has been everywhere.

“I try to just do what I can for the team and being aggressive is a part of being in the midfield,” she said, “I just really wanted to make an impact so I just came out trying to be the best I could be.”

Ball State head coach Josh Rife spoke on Fraser's game this season, and how she’s improved as a player after the match. 

“She’s a very skillful player,” he said, “I think the potential has always been there and it's really been great for her to have the opportunity she has because she has taken a hold of it.”

The beginning of the second half however brought some trouble, as the Broncos came out the gates aggressively.

This attack resulted in five shots for Western, one of them going into the net at the 64 minute mark via a free kick. Their remaining four shots of the half came after the goal, forcing the Cardinals to fight in the match. 

This last section of play showcased the Cardinals' defense, with a little bit of anger to help motivate the team. 

“I think we were all a little bit angry,” Fraser said, “We knew that we deserved to win today.”

Senior defender, Ryann Locante, made her presence known on the pitch, intercepting passes and stealing the ball from the Bronco attackers. Locante attributes this aggression to her frequent efforts to eliminate opponent opportunities in the box.

“In the beginning of the season, we got scored on a-ton,” Locante said, “It was a weak point… we worked on it a-ton in practice and it’s now one of our goals every game to be dominant in the box.”

While Locante's presence was felt defensively, it was also felt offensively within her team as she stepped up and controlled some mid-field balls. Here, she frequently cleared them and set up her forwards. 

“Since I have been here as a freshman, we have not beaten Western,” she said, “So now, being a senior, I just wanted to come out and get that win finally”. 

Overall, coach Rife is proud of his team today and how they matched up against the best team in the MAC. 

“[Winning] It’s not going to be easy,” Rife laughed, “I look at it the other way, we scored two goals against a very quality team. Two ties, but we’re still undefeated in conference play which is big… our goal is still in front of us and still in our control.”

Ball State returns home to play Kent State Thursday, Oct. 5th, at 4 p.m. 

Contact Trinity Rea via email at trinity.rea@bsu.edu or on X @thetrinityrea.

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