MUNCIE, Ind. – The IPFW women’s soccer team opened the 2014 regular season at Ball State on Friday night, falling 3-0 to the Cardinals on the road.
A slow start by the Mastodons allowed Cardinals’ sophomore midfielder Gabby Veldman to tally the first goal of the match in the fourth minute. Veldman took a pass from junior Elaina Musleh and knocked it past IPFW goalkeeper Sam Pavliaka into the right corner of the net to take the 1-0 lead early in the game.
Ball State used goals in the 19th and 21st minute by Madison Oyer and Franziska Sottner, respectively, to extend the lead to 3-0 in the opening period. The first came on a breakaway that drew Pavlika all the way out of goal, giving Oyer an open net after a quick touch past the Mastodons’ keeper. The second was the result of a cross from the left corner that dropped right in front of Sottner, who tapped the ball into the corner behind Pavlika.
The Blue and White’s best chance on offense in the opening period came on the final play of the first half as junior forward Rachel Good hit a bullet right on goal, forcing a save by Cardinals’ sophomore keeper Brooke Dennis.
IPFW came out of the break with some intensity, immediately putting pressure on Dennis with a shot by sophomore forward Andie Lazzerini in the 46th minute that sailed just wide of the post. After registering three shots total in the first half, the ‘Dons had two solid touches towards the goal within the first eight minutes of the second period.
Despite giving up three first-half goals, Pavlika turned in a gritty performance in the net, recording several acrobatic saves throughout the game to keep the score within reach. The most spectacular came in the first half on a stop of a shot by Ball State’s Sottner. Sottner had taken a deflection off an IPFW defender and was all alone in front of the goal. As Sottner tried to bury the ball in the left corner, Pavlika dove to her left and used her fingertips to deflect the ball away from the goal. The junior keeper, a third-year starter for the Mastodons, registered a total of nine saves on the night.
Each team created chances in the second half, with IPFW having its most dangerous opportunity with a little under two minutes remaining in the game. Freshman Kalliane Mogler trapped a ball just outside the six-yard box, made a quick turn, fired towards the left corner and watched the shot just miss outside the post. While the ‘Dons weren’t able to get the ball past the Cardinals’ defense and Dennis before the final horn sounded, IPFW held Ball State scoreless in the second 45 minutes—thanks in large part to Pavlika’s play—to keep the final margin at three.
Five different Mastodons registered a total of nine shots, led by Good, who collected three in the game.
The Mastodons return to action next Friday, August 29 as they host Detroit in their home-opener at Hefner Field. Game time is set for 5 p.m.