MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- Central Michigan scored in the fourth minute of the second overtime period Sunday to hand the Ball State soccer team a 1-0 loss in Mid-American Conference action.
It was an evenly matched game between two teams that entered the day separated by just one point in the league standings. Ball State dropped to 10-5-3 (5-3-2 MAC) with the loss, while Central Michigan improved to 7-10-1 (7-3 MAC).
The Cardinals now have just one regular-season game remaining. They will host Miami University at 3 p.m. Thursday as they continue to fight for seeding in the MAC Tournament.
“We were disappointed with the ending today,” Ball State coach Craig Roberts said. “We made a mistake and paid for it. The girls battled very hard all the way through, and we played really well defensively. I thought both teams were very even.”
Ball State had a scoring opportunity early in the second overtime period, but Cailey Starck’s attempt sailed just wide of the goal. Then, less than a minute later, Central Michigan’s Nicole Samuel wound up with the ball at close range off a pass from Samantha Maher and chipped it over the head of Ball State goalkeeper Layne Schramm and into the net for the game-winner.
It was the sixth overtime game of the season for Ball State -- all of them double-overtime -- and the Cardinals’ first loss in such a contest. Ball State is now 2-3-1 in games that have gone to extra time.
Schramm, who posted a shutout Friday at Bowling Green, had stopped each of the previous five shots she faced in the game and had not allowed a goal in 193 minutes of soccer on the weekend. Central Michigan logged 17 total shots on the day to eight for the Cardinals. The Chippewas also held an 8-5 advantage in corner kick opportunities.
Goalkeeper Grace LaBrecque earned the shutout for the Chippewas.
With one regular season game remaining, Ball State has secured a spot in the conference tournament. The Cardinals can earn as high as the No. 5 seed and will play a first-round road game in the event, which begins Sunday, Nov. 3.