BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University men's soccer team, after earning a result against a nationally-ranked team on the road last weekend, hits the road once again this weekend. The Falcons of head coach Eric Nichols will travel to the Rock 'N' Roll City for a Friday night (Sept. 14) match against Cleveland State University. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at CSU's Krenzler Field.
Then, the Brown and Orange will return home for the next three games, beginning with a Tuesday (Sept. 18) contest vs. the University of Detroit Mercy. Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Cochrane Field on the BGSU campus.
Both the CSU and Detroit matches are scheduled to have live stats available on the web, at BGSUFalcons.com. Friday's match in Cleveland is also slated to have live streaming available via the Horizon League Network. That link will also be available at BGSUFalcons.com.
The Falcons are 1-2-2 on the young season. Last weekend, BGSU played a pair of matches at the Coastal Carolina Invitational, losing to Wofford, 1-0, before earning a 3-3, double-overtime draw with the host school, No. 18 CCU.
Two Falcons, sophomore Danny Baraldi and freshman Ryan James, were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts at CCU. Each player had a four-point match against the host school.
Baraldi had the first two-goal game of his collegiate career, scoring the Falcons' first two goals against the Chanticleers. James was directly involved in the scoring of all three BG goals on Sunday, picking up assists on each of Baraldi's goals before scoring his team's third goal of the day.
Baraldi was also named the MAC Player of the Week for his efforts, earning that honor for the first time in his BGSU career. The Falcons have picked up two MAC P-O-W awards in the first three weeks of the 2012 season, after going all of 2011 without receiving a league weekly honor. Junior Michael Wiest was named the MAC Player of the Week on August 28.
The Falcons are 1-1-1 at home, 0-0-1 on the road and 0-1-0 in neutral-site matches this year to date. Individually, Baraldi and James rank 1-2 on the Falcons in scoring. Baraldi has team-leading totals of three goals and six points, while James has four points on a goal and two assists.
Baraldi paces the Falcons with a total of 12 shot attempts on the year. He has three shots on goal, all of which have resulted in goals.
Five different BGSU players have two points apiece. That list includes senior Zach Lemke and juniors Brandon Silva and Ryan Comiskey, each of whom have one goal this year to date. Senior Chris McLean and junior Anthony Grant each have a pair of assists, and are tied with James for the team lead in that category. Sophomore Vlad Lekarev has one assist on the year.
In goal, Wiest has played all 490 minutes. He has 27 saves, a goals-against average of 1.10 and two shutouts. Wiest has a save percentage of .818 this year to date.
In front of Wiest, junior Sean Sikich has played all 490 minutes at a center-back position. Freshman Jake Genrich and Silva each have played 481 minutes this fall, while Lemke has been on the pitch for 472 minutes.
Cleveland State will enter Friday's match with an overall record of 3-2-0, and the Vikings are ranked 10th in the Great Lakes Region in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire poll. The Vikes have yet to play a home match this season, and Friday's BGSU contest marks the team's only game at Krenzler Field in the first 10 matches of the year. Last weekend, CSU split a pair of matches at the Brown Tournament in Providence, R.I., losing a 2-0 decision to the host school, 22nd-ranked Brown, before downing Siena, 3-2, in double overtime.
The Vikings' eight goals this season have come from eight different players. In net, Brad Stuver has played every minute this fall, and has two shutouts, 22 saves and a GAA of 0.97. The team's wins include a 3-0 victory at Michigan. CSU was picked to finish second in the Horizon League in the preseason coaches poll. Coach Ali Kazemaini welcomed back 17 players from last year's club that went 9-9-1 overall and 5-2-1 in HL play. Eleven of those returning players started at least 10 games a year ago.
The Falcons trail Cleveland State, 14-12-1, in the all-time series between the teams, and the Vikings got a pair of second-half goals just over two minutes apart to pick up a 2-1 win at Cochrane Field in last season's meeting (Sept. 3, 2011). That snapped an eight-match series unbeaten streak for the Brown and Orange. BGSU played CSU every year for over two decades, from 1973-94. Since '94 however, the teams have met just five times. Last year's match was the first between the schools since 2005. CSU holds an 8-4-1 advantage in meetings in Cleveland.
Detroit enters the week with a 2-4-0 record, and the Titans host Green Bay on Friday (Sept. 14) priot to coming to BGSU four days later. UDM split a pair of matches in Buffalo last weekend, downing UB, 2-1, before losing a 4-2 decision against Canisius. UDM has also defeated IPFW and lost to IUPUI, UC Riverside and UC Irvine this fall, with the IPFW match the team's lone home game to date.
Pat Lepera leads the Titans with eight points on four goals, while Adam Bedell has seven points on three goals and an assist. Bedell was named HL Offensive Player of the Week on Monday (Sept. 10). Nathan Steinwascher has played every minute in net for coach Nicholas Deren, and Steinwascher has 31 saves and a 2.00 GAA. Deren returned 17 letterwinners, including seven starters, from the 2011 club that went 5-12-1 overall and 1-6-1 in the Horizon League.
The Falcons lead Detroit, 16-6-2, in that series, and BGSU has won each of the last two meetings. both in the Motor City. Last year, the Falcons scored three first-half goals en route to a 4-1 win over the Titans (Sept. 21, 2011). Lemke, Silva and Comiskey were among the BG goal-scorers in that match. The Falcons are 8-2-1 in home games in the series, but the Titans won the last meeting at Cochrane, rallying from two goals down for a 3-2 overtime victory three years ago (Nov. 4, 2009).
Following this weekend's matches in South Carolina, the Falcons will return to Ohio to prepare for a match at Cleveland State on Friday, Sept. 14. BGSU's next home game is Wednesday, Sept. 18, against Detroit.
ADDITIONAL FALCON NOTES
• Sophomore Danny Baraldi now has 24 points in 23 career matches with the Falcons. He has eight goals and eight assists since coming to BGSU.
• Fifth-year senior Sean Hastings started both matches in South Carolina over the weekend. Friday's Wofford match marked his first start since coming to BGSU. Hastings, a transfer from Oakland, made 10 starts for the Golden Grizzlies in the 2008 season. He came to BG prior to the 2010 season, but did not see action in a fall match for the Falcons until this season.
• Sophomore Vlad Lekarev picked up his first collegiate point with an assist on the goal by Ryan James against Coastal Carolina.