KENT, Ohio -- The Ball State soccer team suffered a Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinal loss Sunday at Kent State.
In sloppy conditions at rain-drenched Zoeller Field, the Golden Flashes defeated the Cardinals by a 4-0 score. Fifth-seeded Ball State (8-7-5) was eliminated from the tournament, while No. 4 seed Kent State (13-4-2) advanced to the semifinals next weekend.
The field Sunday was saturated to the point that there were portions of of it under water. Throughout the afternoon, game staff were using squeegees to try to move the standing water off the playing surface.
The wet conditions made it difficult to advance the ball with any passing combinations as players tried to kick the ball through the heavy water. The style of play shifted to a reliance on re-starts and set pieces, and those types of plays led to all four Kent State goals.
The Golden Flashes found the scoreboard twice in the first half, scoring on a Sara Henderson goal in the 15th minute and a Megan Jackson goal in the 37th minute.
With Ball State trying to get back in the game, Kent State added two more goals in a three-minute span in the second half. Jaclyn Dutton scored in the 73rd minute and Jessacca Gordon recorded the fourth goal of the day when she wound up behind the Ball State defense on a through ball in the 75th minute.
Sophomore forward Jasmine Moses and junior midfielder Maimee Morris led Ball State with three shots each as the Cardinals out-shot Kent State 15-14. But only three of those shots came on frame and Kent State goalkeeper Stephanie Senn stopped each of them.
Despite the loss, Ball State concluded its season with a winning record for the first time since 2007 and improved its winning percentage for the third consecutive year. The Cardinals' 5-3-3 conference record and fifth-place overall MAC finish (third in the West Division) were also the best for the program since 2007.