YPSILANTI, Mich. - The Ball State soccer team suffered its second straight Mid-American Conference loss as the Cardinals dropped a 5-1 decision to Eastern Michigan Friday afternoon at Scicluna Field. The loss drops the Cardinals to 9-6-3 overall and 4-3-2 in MAC play with two games remaining in the regular season.
Eastern Michigan (3-11-2, 3-5-1 MAC) struck early as it opened the scoring just two minutes into the game. Chelsea Detrick found some space 10 yards out and ripped a shot that was blocked by the BSU defense. The rebound fell to the foot of Bianca Rossi who deposited it past junior goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler (Waukesha, Wis./UT Martin) into the back of the net for the 1-0 EMU lead.
The Eagles extended their lead to 2-0 in the 20th minute of action as they took advantage of a beneficial bounce. The Cardinals' defense blocked the shot of Stephanie Clarke but once again Rossi was there to tap the rebound into the net off the hands of a diving Buehler for a two-goal lead.
Ball State regrouped and slowed the Eastern Michigan momentum in the 29th minute of play as its offensive pressure drew a corner kick. Junior defender Amanda Dreyfus (Grove City, Ohio/Grove City) drove the corner kick into the box where junior captain Brigit Reder (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) out-jumped the EMU defenders and drove her header past the goalkeeper into the back of the net.
The goal is the seventh of the season for Reder to move her back into a tie for the team lead. Her seven goals are a Ball State single-season record for a defender and she leads all MAC defenders in scoring this year.
Eastern Michigan answered back in the 33rd minute as it took advantage of a corner kick. Clarke sent the kick into the box where Emily Dzik sent a header past Buehler to make it a 3-1 EMU lead. The three goals allowed are the most Ball State has allowed in the first half this season since Illinois scored three goals in the opening frame on its way to a 5-0 victory (Aug. 26).
The Cardinals came out of the halftime break and peppered the Eastern Michigan goal with five shots in the first five minutes. Junior forward Paige Stroinski (Granger, Ind./Penn) came within inches of pulling Ball State within one in the 48th minute as she beat EMU goalkeeper Maggie Manville but her shot rung off the cross bar.
Eastern Michigan put the game out of reach as Angela Vultaggio scored in the 55th minute and Clarke found the back of the net in the 87th minute. The Cardinals were out-shot for just the fourth time this season as Emu held a slight 23-21 advantage in shots. Manville posted eight saves in the victory while Buehler posted five in the loss.
The Cardinals close out the weekend Sunday afternoon as they travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich., for a meeting with defending MAC Tournament champion Central Michigan at 1 p.m.