Defense Leads Buffalo to Scoreless Tie at Ball State
MUNCIE, IN - Battling both high winds that reached 35 miles per hour and an aggressive Ball State offense, the Buffalo Bulls women's soccer team fought out a 0-0 double overtime tie Friday evening. Goalie Ainsley Wheldon made 11 saves for her eighth shutout of the season.
The UB offense started out hot, taking the first three shots and eight overall in the first half, but the Cardinals (9-4-3, 4-1-2 MAC) soon took control and after taking 10 shots in the first half, it out-shot UB 23-6 for the rest of the game. At the end of regulation, Ball State had two quality chances but both were denied, forcing the fourth overtime game in UB's last six contests.
Just over a minute into the first overtime, Taylor Thompson had one of the team's better chances, and Katie Roberts soon added another shot on goal, one of just four the team had for the game. Wheldon made three saves in the first overtime and another in the second period, but it took a team effort to save the tie in the waning seconds. The Cardinals' Hannah Chadick drew Wheldon off her line and chipped the ball over her head, but the Buffalo defenders were able to get to it in time to kick it away and preserve a critical decision to move to 9-3-3 on the season and 2-2-3 in the MAC.
With her 11 saves, Wheldon now has three games this season with double-digit saves and 104 for the season, extending her Mid-American Conference lead and giving her a new career high. She also hit 200 career saves right on the nose, making her just the ninth goalie in program history to reach that mark. In the single-season record books, her 104 saves are currently the twelfth most in Buffalo history.
The weekend will not get any easier, with a trip to Toledo booked for Sunday at noon. The Rockets (8-5-2, 6-0-1 MAC) have yet to lose a MAC contest and beat Kent State 2-0 Friday evening. Live stats will be available through BuffaloBulls.com.