OXFORD, Ohio - Despite creating some dangerous scoring opportunities throughout the contest, the Miami soccer team was shut out in its season finale against Ball State on Thursday afternoon.
The Cardinals (10-6-3, 8-1-2 Mid-American) struck in the 17th minute to post the shutout win.
Both teams played back and forth over the early stages of the first half, but a free kick in the 17th minute gave Ball State the chance it needed to get on the board. A dangerous ball was served into the box and caused chaos as the Cardinals fired two quick shots before a rebound squirted to Lucy Walton with an open net to tap the ball into to make it a 1-0 contest.
The RedHawks (2-15-1, 2-8-1 MAC) were not without chances despite being outshot 11-6 in the opening 45 minutes. MU's best opportunity did not result in a shot attempt and it came in the eighth minute of play as Soph Spinell served the ball just in front of the keeper box to an oncoming player, but it went just a hair out in front of her and rolled away from traffic as BSU maintained its lead into halftime.
While Miami only took three shots in the second half, each was dangerous. Dogged work by Tara Walenczyk down the right side got her free and she played the ball into the middle of the 18-yard box to an oncoming Olivia Winnett, but the sophomore's strike went over the net. Walenczyk herself got a bead on the defense in the 59th minute, but her bid was off the mark as well.
With time winding down, the Red and White pressed numbers forward and Spinell got down the right sideline and served the ball to Kat Zalar in the middle. The Cardinals were able to converge defensively as Zalar tried to settle down the bouncing ball and while the senior got a shot off, the contested attempt went wide of the target as Ball State held on for the win.
Ball State outshot Miami 19-9 overall and held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks. Patricia Koutoulas stopped two of three BSU shots while Alyssa Heintschel made three saves for the shutout.
Miami's season concludes and breaks a five-year streak of qualifying for the MAC Tournament. During that span, the RedHawks captured a MAC regular season and tournament title along with an NCAA Tournament win in 2012, won a MAC East crown in 2013, finished second in the MAC in 2014 and advanced to the MAC Tournament finals in 2015.