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Nicole Pembleton scored her first goal of the season.
Photo by: Scott McNitt
Morehead State Draws Cardinals with Late Goal
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MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State soccer team was just more than a minute away from its third win of the season before some late heroics from Morehead State resulted in a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon at the Briner Sports Complex.

Abbey Fiser and Nicole Pembleton scored the goals for Ball State, which led 2-1 until late in the 89th minute when Angela Black scored to send the game to overtime. Both teams had chances in overtime but neither team could find the back of the net.

Ball State’s record now stands at 2-1-1 through two weeks of play, while Morehead State is 2-0-2.

“Some of our girls are still young, and we showed a bit of inexperience today,” Ball State head coach Craig Roberts said. “We need to be able to close out a game. I felt we played well in spurts, but we just need to be more consistent. We need to make sure we carry out our duties all the way to the final blow of the whistle.”

Fiser started the scoring in the 30th minute. Cailey Starck sent a free kick into the box and Gabby Veldman headed it to Fiser, who converted for her second goal of the season. Pembleton staked the Cardinals to a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes later. Veldman cross the ball to Pembleton along the end line, and she was able to beat Morehead State keeper Elizabeth Floyd to the near post.

The 2-0 lead would not hold, however, as Ball State had problems conceding goals late in both halves. Kimberly Golden scored for Morehead State with just 1:16 left before halftime, collecting the ball and firing it into the left side of the net from 15 yards out.

The second half was scoreless until the 88:45 mark, and it looked like Ball State was going to salt away a 2-1 win. But Morehead State’s Jade Flory fired a flipping throw-in all the way to the front of the box, where Black was waiting to knock it home and tie the game.

Brooke Dennis made a couple key saves in overtime to preserve the draw, and freshman Lucy Walton nearly won it for the Cardinals with about six minutes left in the second OT. But Walton’s shot from outside the box deflected down off the cross bar and just missed crossing the line.

“We knew they were going to be a physical team,” Roberts said. “They’re well-coached and experienced, coming off an NCAA tournament appearance last year, so it’s not their first rodeo. But we pride ourselves on having skill and playing good possession soccer and not letting another team determine the outcome just because they’re a little more physical.”

Dennis was a big key for Ball State, finishing the game with eight saves and coming out to grab numerous dangerous crosses from Morehead State.

Sunday marked the last home game for Ball State until Sept. 20. The Cardinals will play just once next week, going on the road to face Valparaiso for a 7:30 p.m. CT (8:30 ET) contest Friday.

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