TOLEDO, Ohio -- Nicole Pembleton scored in the second half Friday to even the Ball State soccer team's contest at Toledo, but a late foul led to a tough overtime loss for the Cardinals.
Just 17 seconds before the end of the first overtime period, Ball State was whistled for a foul inside the 18-yard box. Toledo's Natalia Gaitan stepped in to take a penalty kick and converted to give the Rockets a 2-1 victory at Scott Park.
It was just the second conference loss for Ball State, which dropped to 6-5-4 overall and 3-2-2 in Mid-American Conference play. Toledo improved to 6-8-1 overall and 4-2-1 in the league.
"We didn't start the game as fast as I had hoped, and we conceded a goal on a corner, which was disappointing," Ball State coach Craig Roberts said. "I thought we came out stronger and competed better in the second half, especially for the initial 20 minutes. Both teams were evenly matched. It's just disappointing to lose that way."
The Cardinals will look to bounce back Sunday when they visit Northern Illinois for another MAC West matchup. The teams are scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT contest in DeKalb, Ill. (2 p.m. ET). Live stats (free) and live video (premium) will be available at niuhuskies.com.
Toledo struck first Friday, scoring in the 26th minute when Kristen Catloth took a corner kick and found Megan Blake for the game's opening goal.
The Rockets maintained their lead through halftime, but the Cardinals evened the score less than three minutes after the break. A Toledo player was trying to send the ball back to her goalkeeper when Pembleton read the pass, stepped in to pick off the ball and found the back of the net to knot the score at 1-1. It was the fourth goal of the season for Pembleton, who leads BSU in that category.
The game stayed tied through the remainder of regulation and for nearly the entire first overtime period. Another 17 seconds and the game would have headed to a second overtime. Instead, the Rockets served a ball into the box and Ball State was called for a foul that set up the game-winner from Gaitan at the 99:43 mark.
The teams were even on shots for the game with each side recording 10, but Toledo out-cornered Ball State by a 10-2 count. The Cardinals put six of their 10 shots on goal, but Toledo goalkeeper Kelsey Borowitz was able to make five stops.
Pembleton and Toledo's Rachel MacLeod tallied three shots each to lead all players, while Maimee Morris also had a pair of shots for Ball State.