TOLEDO, Ohio - The Ball State soccer team dropped a hard-fought 2-0 contest to 2011 Mid-American Conference champion Toledo Thursday afternoon in the final game of the regular season at Scott Park. The loss drops the Cardinals to 4-5-2 in MAC play while Toledo ends the year with a 9-1-1 league record.
Ball State will continue its season as it already secured a berth in the MAC Tournament, its ninth appearance all-time and its first since 2008. The Cardinals are the sixth seed in the tournament and will play at third-seeded Western Michigan Sunday afternoon in the first round. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at the WMU Soccer Complex.
The Cardinals fell behind early to the Rockets in the 16th minute of play. Danielle Case scored her second goal of the season as she beat BSU goalkeeper Aubrey Buehler (Waukesha, Wis./UT Martin) off an assist from Natalia Gaitan.
Ball State had its best chance in the first half in the 40th minute of play. Freshman defender Victoria Jacobs (Oakville, Ontario/St. Ignatius of Loyola) ripped a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that Toledo goalkeeper Vicki Traven had to make a diving save on.
The Cardinals came out of the halftime break and controlled the tempo as they posted a 6-4 advantage in shots in the half to record a 9-8 edge in the game. Freshmen Pavla Benyrova (Prague, Czech Republic) and Becca Sutton (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) peppered the Toledo goal with shots in the first three minutes of the half that Traven had to save to keep the Cardinals off the board.
Toledo (11-6-2, 9-1-1 MAC) ran its lead to 2-0 in the 55th minute of play as it took advantage of a corner kick. Gaitan sent the corner kick into the box where Kristen Mattei was able to flick it on to Rachel MacLeod who buried it for her seventh goal of the season.
Freshman forward Jasmine Moses (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) led the team with two shots in the loss, including a strong chance in the 64th minute that just went over the cross bar. Sutton also added a pair of shots as the Cardinals became just the second team this season to out-shoot the Rockets.
MAC Tournament Seeding (Top four seeds host first round)
- 1.) Toledo
- 2.) Central Michigan
- 3.) Western Michigan
- 4.) Kent State
- 5.) Buffalo
- 6.) Ball State
- 7.) Akron
- 8.) Ohio