Chippewa soccer beats Ball State in OT to earn first win of season
Natalie Belsito found the ball at her feet after a shot from teammate Lauren DeBeau and fired home the golden goal.
Belsito -- a senior midfielder -- scored with 13 seconds left in the first overtime period to give CMU a 2-1 win over Ball State at the CMU Soccer/Lacrosse Complex on Sunday.
The Chippewas (1-1) earned their first win of the season after dropping a 2-1 game to open the season Thursday at Eastern Michigan.
CMU coach Jeremy Groves said playing a home game for the first time in over 16 months was exciting for him and the players.
"That's a testament to the women we have on this team, the hard work they've put on behind the scenes," Groves said. " ... We've tried to change things up with how we do things with the pandemic, keeping (the players) engaged -- the locker room has gotten a lot closer, that really helped us and showed in games like today.
"That was a fight out there, obviously Ball State is a very good team and we were happy to come out on top."
In the preseason ranking, the conference coaches picked Ball State to win the MAC West Division while CMU was tabbed to finish fourth in the division.
Belsito said the ranking her team had was a rallying point heading into the season.
"That got us ready to go," Belsito said. "Taking it game-by-game, knocking people down game-by-game is really important, like (Sunday), we knocked down No. 1. We want to keep pushing to do that."
Senior midfielder Amanda Britain headed home a ball from junior midfielder Katie Coleman to open the scoring in the Chippewas' favor at the 25:45 mark in the first half.
Almost 44 minutes later, with 21:23 to play, Tatiana Mason slotted home an equalizer for the Cardinals.
After the game went to OT, both teams found success on the offensive end, but Belsito found the moment to strike and capitalized on the opportunity.
Belsito said the setup from DeBeau was perfect to yield the game-winner.
"I thought (DeBeau) was going to get it and I just there to clean it up," Belsito said. "It was great, we've been waiting for these moments and (I'm) glad we capitalized on it."
CMU fired 15 shots and put seven on goal.
Ball State had eight shots and put six on goal.
Freshman goalkeeper Allison Lapoint made five saves on the six shots she faced.
CMU had five corners while BSU had just one in the waning moments of regulation.
The Chippewas next travel to Toledo at 2 p.m. Friday. CMU won the lone matchup between the two schools last season with a 3-0 victory in Mount Pleasant.
1st (25:45): CMU (1-0) -- Amanda Britain (Katie Coleman)
2nd (69:37): BSU (1-1) -- Tatiana Mason (unassisted)
OT1 (104:47): CMU (2-1) -- Natalie Belsito (unassisted)