BUFFALO -- Nicole Pembleton scored in the 106th minute Friday night and the Ball State soccer team opened Mid-American Conference play with a 1-0 win at Buffalo.
It was the third straight Ball State contest to go to extra periods and the second of the three that Pembleton won with a goal in the second overtime. The Ball State junior from Ontario also scored the game-winner two weeks ago at Air Force.
Ball State improved its overall record to 6-2-1, the best in the MAC, and the Cardinals are off to a 1-0 start in league play. Buffalo dropped to 3-3-2 (0-1 MAC) with the loss.
Ball State goalkeeper Layne Schramm posted her third shutout of the year and the fifth for the Cardinals as a team. Schramm, who entered conference play first in the league in both goals against average and save percentage, made five saves on the night, two of which came in the second overtime period.
The Cardinals limited Buffalo to just seven total shots for the game while posting 17 shots themselves. Buffalo’s Ainsley Wheldon, another of the top goalkeepers in the league, stopped all five shots on goal she faced before surrendering the game-winner late.
With the clock ticking into the final five minutes and the game headed for a scoreless draw, Ball State senior captain Michelle Blok played a cross into the box. Pembleton took the pass and beat Wheldon into the lower left corner of the goal to send the Cardinals off with a win.
Pembleton and teammate Madison Oyer finished with a game-high four shots each, while Katie Roberts led the Buffalo offensive attack with two shots.
Ball State has now surrendered just five goals through nine games this season. The Cardinals will look to continue their form when they head to Akron for a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday. The game will wrap up a stretch of five straight on the road for Ball State.
Live stats for Sunday's contest are available at gozips.com, while live streaming video is available at mac-sports.com.