By: Parker Webster & Tristan Fluhr
Ball State Sports Link
MUNCIE, Ind. — The defending three time MAC Champions, Bowling Green, come to Muncie on October 7th to face the Ball State Cardinals. The Cardinals continue their road to the tournament after defeating the Akron Zips, 3-1 in hopes of getting their revenge against the Falcons.
A chance for revenge as the Ball State Cardinals and the Bowling Green Falcons face off again this season after their last meeting on April 17, 2021. Where it was the Bowling Green Falcons taking home the trophy in the Mid-American Conference championship game.
Ball State finished the season (6-3-1) and won the MAC West Division title. The Cardinals earned the title after beating the Eastern Michigan Eagles at home 2-1.
On the other side was an interesting situation for the Bowling Green Falcons. After having four games of their season canceled due to Covid-19 complications, Bowling Green finished with a record of (5-1). Earning the MAC East Division title in an odd way.
While in the same division at the time, the Buffalo Bulls finished with a record of (6-1-1), and beat Bowling Green 2-1 earlier in the season.
The Mid-American Conference did not look to schedule a MAC East championship match between both teams. This sparked outrage amongst the Buffalo Bulls and Head Coach Shawn Burke put in an appeal of the decision. Which the conference then denied and went forth with awarding the Falcons the Division.
Bowling Green would then go on to beat Ball State 2-1,winning it’s third consecutive MAC Championship. After the team was a first round exit in the NCAA tournament to Ole Miss in Penalty Kicks (0-0, 3-4 PKs).
Both teams enter the match with similar records, Bowling Green (3-5-3), Ball State (4-5-1).
Last time these teams faced off in regular season conference play was in Bowling Green, OH, on October 20, 2019. Where Ball State beat Bowling Green in an double-overtime thriller. The Redshirt Senior Nicky Potts put a winning goal in to get a big win on the road for the Cardinals.
The overall matchup record is owned by the Cardinals with a (14-4-3) series record. The Cardinals at home against Bowling Green are (6-2-2) and away it’s (8-2-1).
A lot of odds stacked against the Falcons that look to move up into a comfortable spot in the MAC from being on the edge of qualifying, at the sixth place position. Ball State moved up to the fifth place spot after the win this past Sunday.
THE KEY CARDINAL: In this MAC matchup, the Cardinals have to look to Freshman Lexy Fraley to be the spark for this team off the bench. In their last match against the Akron Zips, Fraley scored her first two goals of her college career within mere minutes of each other. Fraley will have to not let the success get to her head as she looks to add to her goal total this year.
THE KEY FALCON: Nikki Cox has been extremely aggressive this season for Bowling Green. She leads the team with 29 shots and 11 shots on goal, but only has 2 goals to show for it. As we get into the middle parts of the season, Bowling Green will need the elder Cox to show up big for the Falcons as they look to repeat as MAC Champions.
The match will be covered via Sports Link Digital Radio, on Ball State Sports Link’s Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to tune in at 3:35PM as Parker Webster will sit down with Sports Director of Falcon Media and Voice of Bowling Green Women’s Soccer, Brandon Loe, for an outlook on tomorrow’s match.