Soccer Cardinals Battle WMU to Scoreless Draw
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State soccer team battled Western Michigan to a scoreless draw Sunday afternoon in Mid-American Conference action at the Briner Sports Complex.
The Cardinals and Broncos played 110 minutes in the double-overtime affair between two strong defensive squads. It was the second straight shutout recorded by the Cardinals and the fourth by the Broncos in their six conference games.
Ball State (6-4-4) finished off a quality weekend, improving to 3-1-2 in conference play with Friday's win over Eastern Michigan and Sunday's tie with Western Michigan. The Broncos (5-6-3) now stand at 1-2-3 in the league after their third scoreless draw in MAC play.
Ball State generated the majority of its offensive chances in the first half Sunday. The Cardinals controlled play for the opening 45 minutes and logged 14 of their 20 shots before the break. Freshman forward Morgan Whitfield gave the Cardinals one of their best looks when she got loose on a breakaway, but her shot missed just wide of the goal.
The Cardinals put 12 shots on goal in the contest, but Western Michigan goalkeeper Michelle Watson saved them all.
"I felt that our ball movement could have been quicker today," Ball State coach Craig Roberts said. "We kind of got locked up in the middle and we just needed to play a little bit quicker with the types of passes we made. But I felt that the energy was there and the girls came to play."
On the other end of the field, Ball State's defensive effort limited the Broncos to eight shots. Only two of those came in the first half, but they provided Western Michigan's best looks of the day. Ball State keeper Aubrey Buehler deflected the first one over the crossbar on an attempt from Diana Dedvukaj, and the other hit the post on a deflection from WMU's Megan Putnam.
Much of the second half and both overtime periods was played in the middle of the field with the teams combining for only 12 shots (six each) after halftime.
Buehler made four of her five saves after the first half and also came out of the goal several times to cut off crosses from Western Michigan. The senior goalkeeper secured her second straight shutout, her third of the season and her 10th as a Cardinal.
Maimee Morris, who scored the game-winner Friday against Eastern Michigan, paced the Ball State attack with four shots Sunday. Putnam finished with four shots to lead Western Michigan.Ball State will hit the road next weekend with road trips to Toledo and Northern Illinois as MAC play continues. There are only five games remaining in the regular season.