All it took was one goal from sophomore forward Fluer Knopert for Ball State to knock off Ohio in overtime 2-1. Earning the Cardinals’ first Mid-American Conference (MAC) win of the season.
Walsh advised the team pregame that they had a clean record at 0-0 and that the preparation of playing the non-conference opponents before Ohio, led to this game.
In what was a very offensively heavy first quarter for both sides, the Cardinals tried to get one in the net early after a shot went off the left post to keep the game scoreless early in the game. However, Ball State managed to go up on the scoreboard less than four minutes into the first quarter on a shot from senior defender Michaela Graney to the top right corner of the net to go up one on the Bobcats.
Ball State’s defense managed to keep Ohio off of the board, shutting them out in three quarters despite Ohio getting off 23 total shots with 11 being shots on goal. Senior goaltender Hannah Johnston managed another game with double-digit saves with ten. Ohio out-shot the Cardinals 23-8 while also outshooting them with shots on goal 11-5.
“It was a tough game,” head coach Caitlin Walsh said. “I am sure it was fun to watch… but it was gritty… and the match was a little frustrating to watch knowing that we were in the driver’s seat. I think we gave up too much defensively so we definitely have things we need to work on but for them to come out and bounce back after going to overtime…It shows the kind of team that we are and we never stop fighting.”
In the fourth quarter, needing an answer, the Bobcats found one as a shot was deflected at the attacking circle and found the back of the cage to even the score at one halfway through the quarter. Ball State and Ohio were knotted up at one at the end of regulation sending the game to a sudden death overtime.
Ball State added pressure on Ohio, as they registered three shots and managed to keep the ball in the offensive zone for most of the period. This would prove valuable as Knopert found a loose ball after a scramble in front of the net to fire a shot that Ohio goalie Macy Lotze could not save, resulting in a Cardinal win.
Knopert scored her fourth goal of the season in dramatic fashion as the Cardinals earned their second win in a row and their first win in conference play this season.
Ball State is heading back home for their home opener against Saint Louis.
“It is exciting and a little crazy that our home opener is happening this early towards the end of September,” Walsh said. “We are excited. I told the team before the game that I said one of our alums did this pregame video where we had parents, friends, and family, send a little motivation and hype video for the team…I hope the fans come out and have fun and support us, and hopefully we will end the weekend 2-0.”
Ball State will come home to Briner Sports Complex to play Saint Louis on Sept. 17 for their home opener at 1 p.m.
Contact Dane Massey with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danemassey22.