Oct. 20, 2013
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Huskies were at Ball State this afternoon, taking on the Cardinals (9-4-3, 4-2-2 MAC). The Huskies faced a barrage of shots in the first half and were outshot 27-11 in the game overall, but the defense held for the NIU. That, combined with Jess Wooldridge's (Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana) two-goal performance helped the Huskies keep with the Cardinals. By the end of it all, neither team was able to get the go-ahead score, and the game ended in a draw. The Huskies are now 4-9-3 with a 2-4-2 record in the MAC.
In the first half of the game, neither team scored, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The teams combined for 17 shots, 14 from the opposing Cardinals. Most of those shots were off-target however, with only seven of the 17 headed for the net. Six of those were aimed at the Huskie goal, but Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England/Townsend Church of England) saved each one. Despite all the action, the teams ended the first half in a scoreless tie.
In the second half, Ball State wasted little time to finally get one through. In the 52nd minute, Cardinal forward Nicole Pembleton scored her third goal of the season to give her team a 1-0 lead. Following the goal, the game settled for a bit. It wasn't until the 71st minute that things turned around for NIU. Jess Wooldridge scored to even the game at the point at 1-1. She was unassisted on the play.
Ten minutes after her first score, Wooldridge delivered for NIU again. Courtney Ksiazek (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) took a free kick for the Huskies, which found Wooldridge, and she punched it through to score her second goal of the game. It was a breakout day for Wooldridge, who scored two goals in a game for the first time in her young career. "Wooldridge was very good out there today," said Head Coach John Ross. "She had shown flashes of brilliance in the past. We knew she had the ability to score. Today, she just looked comfortable on the field."
NIU's 2-1 lead would not last for long, however. Less than 30 seconds later, the Cardinals tied the game when Ball State's Elaina Musleh scored on a header. With that, the score was 2-2, and neither team scored during the last nine minutes of regulation. As such, they headed to overtime.
Amy Carr had a 11 saves on the day, a career-high, and her biggest save came during the first overtime period. An NIU foul close to the Huskie goal gave the Cardinals a penalty kick in the 93rd minute. Victoria Jacobs took the kick for Ball State, and Carr was able to make the save, keeping the score tied. "Amy's confidence just keeps on rising," said Ross. "It's great to have a goaltender like her. She's not deficient in any area. She's a strong in every way."
The teams needed two overtime periods to try and find a winner, but neither could get that last score. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, NIU's third tie of the season.
The Huskies are officially done with regular season road affairs. All three of the remaining games in October will be in DeKalb, Ill. Next up for NIU is Kent State, who will come to DeKalb for a night game on Friday, October 25 at 7 p.m.