Ball State soccer playing Ball State soccer was no April Fool's Day prank.
Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals did compete against the Cardinals in their annual alumni game.
In a hard fought but “enjoyable experience,” as head coach Craig Roberts put it, the current Cardinals defeated the alumni 4-2.
The yearly event is not about who wins or loses, though. Instead, it's about bridging the gap between current and former players.
“My end result is about do we mesh the past to the present,” Roberts said. “The most important thing to me is for my players to respect what the others have done before them and hopefully for the past players to be really proud of what the current players have achieved.”
Shaniece Thorpe: 2012 forward
Brigit Reder: 2012 defender
Victoria Jacobs: 2014 defender
Cailey Starck: 2014 midfielder
Kalynn Flanagan: 2015 forward
Emily Hollingsworth: student manager
Missy Gordon Mocek: 2010 forward
Maggie Cox: 2014 midfielder
Nicky Pembleta: 2014 forward
Paiger Stroinski Cisna: 2012 forward
Alyssa Ables: 2012 midfielder
Kelsey Shapiro Leeb: 2013 defender
Amanda Stock: 2013 defender
After a scoreless first half, sophomore forward Sam Kambol scored three of Cardinals’ four goals in the second half. Both goals for the alumni were scored by forward and 2012 graduate Shaniece Thorpe.
Fourteen former Ball State soccer players returned to Muncie to take part, including defender Amanda Stock, who was playing in her second alumni match. The 2013 graduate said while she hasn't played soccer in a while, it was fun to get back on the field.
"It's good to create an environment of a community within Ball State soccer," Stock said. "So it was good to come back and see all my past teammates and see the new team."
Stock, who now lives in Columbus, brought her husband Chip and their 10-month-old daughter, Ruby, to watch her return to action on a field she once spent many hours on.
Senior goalkeeper Alyssa Heintschel said playing against the alumni is always a fun event. The alumni were ready to redeem themselves after losing 7-1 to last season's Cardinals.
“They came out guns blazing," Heintschel said. "They want to beat us every year so it's always a little competitive. Competition aside it's really great to see all the people that we used to play with."
Roberts said the support of the alumni is an integral part of the advances of the program.
"The past Ball State players are really valued in the promoting of the program," Roberts said. "To know that we have a lot of respect for what they’ve done in the past and their achievements. Linking the two together is very important to me.”