BY MAX DENARI | Ball State Sports Link
The Ball State women’s soccer team hosted Morehead State in BSU’s last non-conference game of the season Friday. The Cardinals were coming off a fantastic and thrilling 1-0 double overtime win at Louisville a week earlier.
Against the ACC-foe Cardinals, junior goalkeeper Alyssa Heintschel had an outstanding game in front of net, pulling out a career-high 11 saves. Senior defender Lorina White slotted in the game winner in the 108th minute of extra time, with sophomore Defender Taylor Pooley (#15) putting in the pass leading to the goal.
A week later, with Ball State hosting Family Weekend Sept. 23-24, the Cardinals decided to recognize their seniors much earlier than normal. The opportunity was especially emotional for White.
Her mother, Laura Jackson, flew in from Poughkeepsie, New York to watch her daughter play during senior night. Jackson had never seen her play soccer in college and White had no idea she was coming.
“It feels amazing having her here to watch my game tonight,” White said after a 4-0 victory Friday. “After years of not being able to see one. It’s just everything to me.”
After an hour and twenty minute delay due to rain and lighting, Morehead State and Ball State came out to a start time of approximately 6:20 p.m.
From the start the Cardinals dominated, pressing forward into the Eagles’ half time and time again. The first goal came early in the third minute from junior Allison Abbe who struck well from the penalty spot.
She sent the ball confidently to the left as Morehead State’s goalkeeper Eva Helgadottir went right.
Morehead State struggled to find a fluid string of passes early and the Cardinals took advantage, consistently applying pressure.
Making it an even better story, White scored a solo goal in the 13th minute, receiving the ball in the center of the field and charging her way into the box just by the left post to slip the ball by the goalkeeper with a slight deflection. A gift to her mother in the stands.
“Everyday we have to work hard, keep focused during practice, stay dedicated and never give up,” said White, who scored her third goal of the season and second in the past two games.
Freshman Monica Padilla scored in the 35th minute with an assist from junior Shannon Greeley, and finally senior Gabby Veldman scored in the 49th minute with the assist from freshman Yela Ziswiler.
For the match, Ball State had a dominating 27 shots (14 on target) vs. Morehead State’s two shots (one on target). The win was head coach Craig Roberts’ 99th as a college head coach.
With the dominating 4-0 win, Ball State heads into conference play with a 5-2-1 record and most certainly high on confidence.
“Especially after tonight and our win against Louisville, I think our team is very strong and overall we have really come together as teammates,” Veldman said. “Coming out tonight, all of us (seniors) together made it so great. I really do not have the best words to express my excitement after this one tonight. I love this team.”
The Cardinals host Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference opener Sept. 23 before Akron visits Sept. 24.