MUNCIE, Ind. -- The defensive performance this season by the Ball State soccer team has been one of the best in the country, as evidenced by this week’s NCAA statistical rankings.
The Cardinals rank in the top 20 nationally in three major categories, highlighted by the fourth-best save percentage in the country at .904. The team is also 13th in the nation in goals against average (.471) and 20th in shutout percentage (.600), having recorded six shutouts in 10 games.
Ball State’s success can be credited to a combination of the Cardinals’ pressure in the defensive third and the play of its goalkeeping duo. Layne Schramm and Brooke Dennis have each been in goal for three shutouts already, and they are the top two goalkeepers in the Mid-American Conference, statistically.
Schramm ranks fourth in the nation individually with a .923 save percentage and ninth in the country with a .371 goals against average.
Dennis’ .885 save percentage and 0.57 goals against average would also rank among the national leaders, but she just misses out on the minutes played requirement for the rankings.
The top statistical defense in the MAC has helped the Cardinals to their best start since the 2006 conference championship season.
Ball State is 7-2-1 (2-0-0 MAC) and continues league play this weekend with home games Friday at 4:30 p.m. against Kent State and Sunday at 1 p.m. against Ohio.