By: Josh Brunette
Ball State Sports Link
The Ball State Cardinals wrapped up their 2021 season with a 2-0 win at home against the Miami Redhawks Wednesday afternoon.
On a rainy fall day at Briner Sports Complex, the game got off to a slow start as both teams struggled with the weather. The Redhawks, who needed a win to earn a spot in the MAC Tournament, played aggressively and attacked the Cardinals for the majority of the first half.
Miami took eight shots in the first half, however Ball State goaltender Alex DeRuvo was lights out, recording five saves. The Cardinals also got into foul trouble, being called for seven fouls in the first half compared to the Redhawks five. Ball State was able to gain some momentum and control the game towards the end of the half. After the first half the game was tied 0-0.
As the second half started, it seemed like momentum had fully switched in Ball State’s favor as the Cardinals were able to keep the ball away from their side of the field with multiple offensive attacks. The Cardinals limited the Redhawks to just two shots in the second half compared to their eight. Ball State was also able to solve their foul problems with just three in the second half.
Midway through the second half Ball State was able to capitalize on their momentum, with Jenna Dombrowski scoring the first goal of the match at the 71-minute mark. She was assisted by Chelcy Ralph and Lexy Smith. Following a save by Miami goaltender Izzie Vaccarri, Dombrowski was able to capitalize on the second chance shot and put the ball into the net.
After a quick offensive burst by Miami, Lexi Fraley was able to break free and add to the Cardinals lead with another goal 79 minutes into the match. Sammi Cocoran was credited with an assist on the goal. Fraley battled her way down the field and was able to use her agility and quickness to capitalize on the fast break opportunity.
“I’m really proud of the way we played today. We knew the position we were in in the conference and just the way we wanted to end the season,” Jenna Dombrowski explained. “We really ended on a strong note. I’m proud of our performance from start to finish. It felt really good to get one today. It was already a special day with everyone celebrating our careers. It felt really good to get it in the back of the net. Fraley’s goal was the cherry on top, it was such a great goal.”
After that Ball State stayed in the driver’s seat, controlling the tempo for the rest of the game. The Cardinals limited the Redhawks to just two shots in the second half as Ball State eliminated the Redhawks from MAC Tournament contention.