Soccer Team Plays Ohio to 1-1 Draw
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ball State soccer team played Ohio to a 1-1 draw on the road Sunday in Mid-American Conference action at Chessa Field.
Sophomore forward Nicole Pembleton scored the Ball State goal, her third of the season, as the Cardinals and Bobcats played a complete, double-overtime contest for the second straight season.
Ball State (5-4-3) is now 2-1-1 in conference play, while Ohio (6-5-1) owns a 1-2-1 league record. The Cardinals will return home to host Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan next weekend at the Briner Sports Complex.
In Sunday's game, Ball State recorded a season-high 30 shots and controlled much of the action, both offensively and defensively. After surrendering a goal in the third minute of play, the Cardinals held the Bobcats scoreless over the final 107 minutes.
"Defensively, after we got through the initial series of the game, we really played well in the back," Ball State coach Craig Roberts said.
Ball State goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler made an initial save on Ohio's scoring play, but Liz Finley was there for the rebound to put the Bobcats on top 1-0.
That lead held until early in the second half when Pembleton scored the equalizer in the 52nd minute. Senior defender Amanda Dreyfus delivered a cross that Ohio keeper Mattie Liston came out of the goal to deflect. Pembleton was there to pick up the deflection and find the net.
That was the last goal either team would score, though it wasn't the last good chance for the Cardinals. Sophomore forward Morgan Whitfield had a close look in the 70th minute. Ball State got back-to-back shots off in the box in the 75th minute. And senior forward Paige Stroinski had a shot just clear the crossbar in the second overtime.
The Cardinals also had a moment in the first half when it looked like they had scored a goal, but it was erased because of an offsides call.
"We didn't get the win, but I am pleased with performance," Roberts said. "I felt if we had closed out some of the opportunities we created, we would have come away with a win."
Whitfield, who Roberts said continues to look more dangerous each game, created several of those scoring opportunities. She finished with a game-high five shots for Ball State and was one of 12 Cardinals to record a shot in the game.
In the net, Buehler finished with five saves for Ball State, while Liston recorded eight saves for Ohio.
Roberts was put in the unique position of having to watch Sunday's game from the stands after receiving a pair of yellow cards in Ball State's previous contest. It was a situation he had never experienced before, but he was happy with the way his team competed without him on the sideline.
"I was pleased with how (assistant coach) Marcie (Klebanow) handled team," Roberts said. "They played with maturity and did what they needed to do. They didn't let the adversity get to them."