Whitfield's Goal Helps Soccer to 1-1 Draw with Miami
OXFORD, Ohio -- The Ball State soccer team did something Thursday that no other team in the Mid-American Conference has done all year; it didn't lose to Miami University.
The Cardinals played the RedHawks to a 1-1 draw on the road in the final game of the regular season. Miami had won each of its previous 10 conference contests.
With the victory, Ball State will enter the MAC Tournament with a record of 8-6-5 (5-3-3 MAC). The Cardinals will be the No. 5 seed and will play a quarterfinal game Sunday at No. 4 seed Kent State.
Miami concluded the regular season at 16-2-1 (10-0-1 MAC) and will be the tournament's top seed.
Ball State managed Thursday's result despite playing short-handed because of some injuries. Freshman Morgan Whitfield rose to the occasion to score the Cardinals' goal. It was the first collegiate goal for Whitfield, who took a pass from Alyssa Ables in the 38th minute and angled a shot past Miami goalkeeper Allison Norenberg and into the net.
"It was a great finish by Morgan," Ball State coach Craig Roberts said. "She struck ball with her left foot from the left side and had enough power that the goalkeeper couldn't handle it."
Whitfield's goal evened the game after Miami had scored first on a goal from Haley Walter in the 11th minute. Walter scored on a header off a corner kick from teammate Jess Kodiak.
Both teams gave themselves other opportunities, but those two first-half goals proved to be the only scores of the day. Ball State and Miami held each other scoreless over the entire second half and 20 minutes of overtime.
The Cardinals had a great chance in the closing minutes of the second overtime period with Nicole Pembleton on the attack, but Norenberg made an outstanding save to keep the game knotted at 1-1.
Ball State managed to limit the top-scoring team in the MAC to just one goal for the afternoon. Miami entered the game averaging 2.72 goals per contest.
"I thought it was a great game and both teams fought very hard," Roberts said. "I was disappointed about our marking on the corner kick that led to their goal, but it is something we corrected."
Miami managed to attempt 20 shots and put eight of them on goal, but Ball State goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler recorded a season-high seven saves to preserve the tie.