The Eastern Michigan women’s soccer team won 2-1 against Ball State in Muncie, Indiana Nov. 3. This is EMU’s first win in the MAC Tournament since 2013, when the Eagles defeated Ohio 3-0.
Sabrina McNeill scored in the 13th minute, and Amanda Cripps scored on a penalty kick for EMU with just minutes remaining in the game to win over Ball State. It was an offensive attack for the Eagles, as they had eight shots on goal and 16 total shots compared to four and eight, respectively, for Ball State. McNeill had the most active game with six shots in total.
Eastern Michigan also was efficient on the defensive end, as it was the Eagles’ fourth out of the last five games where they allowed only one goal scored. The Eagles goal keeper Chelsea Abbotts had three saves on the day.
The Cardinals were seeking their 10th win out of their previous 11 games and fifth win in a row. They had the second best conference record only behind the 10-1 Bowling Green State Falcons, who are the No.1 seed in the tournament. The Eagles last two regular season wins against Buffalo and Central Michigan were crucial for them just getting in the bracket.
Each team had a corner kick early in the first half, as well as some fouls called. There was a stretch of two minutes where Ball State was called for three fouls. McNeill scored just one minute removed from the third foul on the Cardinals’ Sammi Corcoran.
Eastern Michigan was aggressive several minutes later, trying to extend the lead about midway through the first half. Cripps, Peyton Davis and Alia Frederick each had a shot on goal for EMU, but they were too wide or were stopped by Ball State keeper Tristin Stuteville.
The Cardinals moved the ball across midfield and had two corner kicks and two shots on goal just a few minutes after. That ended quickly when EMU finished the half with a lot of possession time. McNeill had two more shots on goal before the sound of the buzzer and the two teams headed to halftime.
Both teams exchanged a shot on goal at the start of the second half, one by Cripps and one by Ball State’s Sam Kambol. Peighton Cook scored the tying goal for Ball State in the 59th minute, with the assist coming from Kerrigan Johnson and Corcoran.
The Eagles got the ball right back near the goal after allowing the equalizer. They had three shots within 40 seconds of putting the ball in play at midfield. Ball State had its chance to get a lead just after that, with shots by Cook and Claudia Como. But they came up empty.
In the 89th minute of regulation, Ball State’s Lexy Smith was called for a yellow card and Emily Simmons was called for a foul, which gave Cripps a chance for a penalty shot. She scored the game-winning goal, and EMU knocked off the second-ranked team in the tournament.
The Eagles will play No. 6 Ohio in the semifinals at Bowling Green, Ohio on Friday, Nov. 8. Ohio defeated EMU 1-0 earlier in the season.