It was a chilly and windy afternoon in Muncie, but spirits were warm for Ball State. All it took to raise those spirits was one shot from senior midfielder Emma Hilton to pull off an upset over Indiana University in a 3-2 shootout.
The Cardinals ended a frustrating four-game losing streak and got their first win in October, mobbing Hilton at the corner of the field to celebrate.
“When that ball hit the back of the cage I started crying,” Hilton said. “That was the best feeling I could have ever imagined. I am just so happy our team finally got this done.”
Ball State also secured its first win over the Hoosiers in over a decade, and notched its first win over a Power-five school since 2016 when the Cardinals beat Michigan State.
“I think it goes to show we can still band together,” head coach Caitlin Walsh said. “This is exactly [what] our team needed at the right time, and you always love to beat the B1GTEN teams.”
In what was a gritty first quarter, the Cardinals managed to strike first when junior midfielder Maya Guinn managed to get Ball State on the board first after the Cardinals quickly turned defense into offense.
The Hoosiers refused to go unanswered, though, as later in the period they tied the game at one apiece going into the second.
Indiana blanked the Cardinals in the second, outshooting them 8-0 en route to graduate student Sarah Charley giving Indiana the lead 2-1 heading into halftime.
The second half was a back-and-forth battle, as neither Indiana or Ball State could score the decisive goal in the third to gain a lead.As time was winding down in the fourth, hope seemed dim for the Cardinals.
That was until senior forward Maureen Donegan came off the bench to deliver a strike to the top left corner of the cage that sent Briner Sports Complex into a frenzy, tying the game at two and forcing overtime.
In the two overtime periods played, the Hoosiers came out like they played in the second period with Ball State only registering a single shot while Indiana lit Ball State up on net with 11 shots. Senior goalkeeper Hannah Johnston made seven saves in the two overtime periods, and the game required a shootout to decide the winner.
Indiana and Ball State traded blows, bringing the game down to the final frame where Johnston made a save, leaving it up to Hilton to win the game for the Cardinals. Hilton got a rebound off a shot off the Hoosiers’ redshirt junior goalkeeper Shannon McNally, and the ball rolled into the back of the cage to seal the win.
Ball State (6-8, 2-3 MAC) remains at home for a prime conference matchup against Appalachian State (10-4, 4-1 MAC) for Senior Day Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.
Contact Dane Massey with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danemassey22.