Ball State Soccer falls short of MAC championship in penalty shootout

After knocking off Western Michigan in the MAC Semifinals, Ball State Soccer (14-3-3, MAC 8-2-2) faced top seed Bowing Green(15-4-2, MAC 11-1) in the MAC Championship game. After 90 minutes of regulation play and 20 minutes of overtime, penalties would decided the game. In the end, Bowling Green defeated Ball State, 1-1 (5-4 on penalties).

The Cardinals nine game win streak was snapped on Sunday after the Falcons started the game strong The Falcons scored in the 26th minute to make it 1-0. The Falcons had just one shot more than the Cardinals in the first half.

In the second half, the Cardinals equalized early in the 53rd minute to make it 1-1. The goal was a corner, scored by freshman defender Emily Simmons, her first of the season. Simmons started every game for the Cardinals as a freshman and scored her first goal of the season in the MAC championship. The Cardinals outshot the Falcons 14 to five in the second half.

Both overtime periods saw the Falcons pressuring the Cardinals. In total, the Falcons had nine shots in overtime with two of them hitting the post. After two periods of overtime, penalties would decide the 2018 MAC Women’s Soccer champion

In penalties, the Cardinals had the win in sight, leading 4-3 on penalties. A game-saving play by the Falcons goalkeeper kept them in the game. The Falcons used that momentum against the Cardinals to score a fifth penalty shot and win the MAC Championship.

“You can’t fault our effort today,” head coach Craig Roberts said in a press release. “The girls left it all out on the field and unfortunately came up short. Anything can happen when you get to PK’s and we were on the wrong side of it. It was an incredible season by these girls and they certainly deserved to be here.”

Head coach Matt Fannon for the Falcons has now won back to back MAC coach of the year. For the Cardinals, freshman midfielder Tatiana Mason was named MAC freshman of the year award, finishing the season with six goals. Guerrero led the Cardinals with five assists this season. Senior goalkeeper Tristin Stuteville averaged a .70 goals against average.

Contact Tyler Pence with any comments at tapence@bsu.edu or on Twitter @tylerpencee

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