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Gabby Veldman started the scoring early for the Cardinals.
Photo by: Scott McNitt
Soccer Rides Early Barrage to Shutout Win in Opener
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MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State soccer team exploded offensively in the first 25 minutes Friday and rode that wave to a 3-0 season-opening win over IPFW at the Briner Sports Complex.

Gabby Veldman, Madison Oyer and Franziska Sottner scored the goals in the 300th all-time game for the Ball State women’s soccer program as the Cardinals kicked off their 16th season of competition.

“We were very pleased with the mentality our team came out with,” Ball State coach Craig Roberts said. “I think we came out with the right offensive mindset. We’ve been working on that quite a bit throughout preseason. It wasn’t just one person; it was several individuals who converted, so we’re delighted with the play of our forward line.”

Veldman, a sophomore from South Bend, scored less than five minutes into the game when she volleyed a cross from Elaina Musleh into the right side of the net. Oyer, a junior from Leo, Ind., made it 2-0 in the 20th minute, stealing the ball at midfield and taking it all the way to beat the IPFW keeper one-on-one.

Sottner struck just two minutes later. The freshman from Austria found the back of the net after a collecting a cross from Lucy Walton that found her all the way from the far side of the box.​

Sottner made a major impression in her first collegiate game, generating offensive chances and placing five of her six shot attempts on goal. She is one of seven freshmen that have joined a group of 20 returning letterwinners from last year’s Mid-American Conference Tournament runner-up team.

“I think the experience from last season has carried over,” Roberts said. “We’re a lot more mature, and we’re using that as a confidence booster. The new players who came in for us have really complemented what we already have here. We want to find players who have the ability as freshmen to come in and make an impact, and they are doing that.”

As a team, the Cardinals put 14 of their 21 shots on goal and pressured IPFW’s Sam Pavlika between the posts all night.

Defensively, they limited the Mastodons to six shots and only two looks at the goal. Brooke Dennis was there to stop both of those shots, preserving the clean sheet. It was the fourth shutout in nine career starts for the sophomore from Wauconda, Ill.

Ball State continues its season-opening weekend Sunday with its first road game of the year. The Cardinals will travel to the state of Wisconsin for a 1 p.m. CT (2 ET) contest Sunday at Green Bay.

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