The Bowling Green State University women's soccer team dives into Mid-American Conference play with a pair of home matches this weekend. The Falcons of interim head coach Kellie Evans face Ohio University on Friday night (Sept. 21), with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Cochrane Field.
Then, on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 23), the Brown and Orange will face Kent State University in a 1:00 p.m. start at Cochrane. That match is the last in a season-long, four-match homestand for the Falcons.
Admission for this weekend's matches, and for all Falcon men's and women's home regular-season action again this season, is free. Live stats for both matches will be available via BGSUFalcons.com, and Sunday's KSU contest is scheduled to be televised in the Toledo area by BCSN. For more information, log on to www.bcsn.tv.
The Falcons suffered a pair of narrow losses to foes from the state of Illinois at Cochrane last weekend, falling to Illinois State, 2-1, on Friday night (Sept. 14), then dropping a 1-0 decision to Loyola Sunday afternoon (Sept. 16).
In Friday's match, BGSU held a powerful Redbird offense off of the scoreboard in the first half, but the visitors got a goal in the 51st minute of the match, then doubled the lead midway through the second half. The Falcons outshot ISU by a 19-12 count on the night, and BG got on the board with a goal from sophomore Sidney Huth with just 1:52 remaining, but the home team could not net the equalizer.
On Sunday, the Falcons outshot Loyola by a whopping 22-4 count, and BG also had advantages of 9-3 in corner kicks and 7-1 in shots on goal. But, the Ramblers' lone shot on goal proved to be all they would need, as Brielle Haupt scored for the visitors in the 19th minute of the match. BG had a 13-2 advantage in total shots in the second half, but could not get a ball over the goal line.
Freshman goalkeeper Jenna Underwood made her first collegiate start on Friday night vs. ISU, and again played all 90 minutes against Loyola on Sunday. She made a total of five saves on the weekend.
Huth leads the Falcons in scoring this season, with four points on a pair of goals. A pair of juniors, Tracy Togba and Madeline Wideman, each have three points this fall, while two freshmen have two points each. First-year Falcon Jessica Jarvis has one goal this year, while classmate Demy Whitaker leads the Brown and Orange with two assists.
In goal, fifth-year senior Becca Ison has made six starts and Underwood two. Ison has 25 saves and a goals-against average of 2.90 this year to date. Underwood, who has appeared in three matches in total, has nine saves and a 2.26 GAA.
BGSU had a total of 62 shot attempts, an average of 10.3 per game, over the first six matches of the season. Last weekend, the Falcons had 41 shots in the two games, for an average of 20.5 per game. BG had a season-high 22 shots vs. Loyola.
Ohio enters the week with an overall record of 5-3-0. After suffering three-straight losses to begin the 2012 season, the Bobcats have won five matches in a row. Goalkeeper Mattie Liston has posted four shutouts during that five-match win streak, including a 1-0 victory over visiting Youngstown State on Sunday. Ohio also has wins over Marshall, Niagara, Morehead State and Cleveland State, with all but the MSU match coming at home. The 'Cats are 4-0 at home and 1-3 on the road.
Cat Rogers leads the Bobcats in scoring, with 12 points this year. She has five of the team's nine goals this fall, while Holly Harris and Maggie Murnane have two apiece. Liston has 35 saves, the aforementioned four shutouts and a 1.20 GAA for head coach Stacy Strauss. Last year, the 'Cats went 7-11-2 overall and 4-5-2 in MAC action. Strauss returned 14 letterwinners, including four starters, from that club.
The Falcons trail Ohio, 9-2-4, in the all-time series between the teams, and the Bobcats captured last year's meeting. Ohio won a 2-0 decision in Athens last Oct. 16, snapping a four-match BGSU unbeaten streak in the series. All four of those matches had required two overtimes, with a 1-0 BG win in 2007 followed by three consecutive draws. Overall, BGSU is 2-2-3 in the last seven meetings with Ohio, after going just 0-7-1 in the first eight matchups with the 'Cats. The Falcons are 2-4-2 in home matches and 0-5-2 in road games vs. Ohio.
Series information and match-by-match results for all of BGSU's opponents can be found on pages 45-47 of the BGSU Women's Soccer Media Guide, which is available on the web at BGSUFalcons.com.
Kent State has a 5-1-1 record this season to date. The Golden Flashes will open conference play at Central Michigan on Friday before venturing to BGSU for Sunday's match. Last weekend, the Flashes split a pair of 2-1 matches at home, downing Marshall in double-overtime before falling to Duquesne. KSU's 5-0-1 start was the best in program history.
Jaclyn Dutton has scored eight goals for the Falcons already this season. She has a team-leading 18 points, while Stephanie Haugh has three goals and a KSU-best four assists for 10 points. Stephanie Senn has played all but 56-plus minutes in goal this year, and the freshman has 23 saves and a GAA of just 0.59. She was named the MAC's Defensive Player of the Week on Monday (Sept. 17). Coach Rob Marinaro's team was picked to win the MAC's East Division in 2012 after capturing the divisional crown in '11. Last year's team went 12-8-0 overall and 6-5 in the MAC.
The Falcons lead Kent State, 10-4-4, in that series, but KSU captured a 1-0 win in overtime in last season's meeting (Sept. 25, 2011, in Kent). The Flashes' golden goal snapped an eight-match series unbeaten streak for the Falcons, and also was the first goal by a KSU player against BGSU since 2004. The Falcons had had a shutout streak of 841:06 vs. the Flashes prior to Dutton's OT goal last year. BGSU is 5-1-4 at home and 5-3-0 on the road vs. the Golden Flashes.
Following this weekend's matches, the Falcons will hit the road for four consecutive conference contests. BGSU will head to Eastern Michigan on Friday, Sept. 28, before taking on Western Michigan two days later (Sept. 30).
ADDITIONAL FALCON NOTES
• Freshman Jenna Underwood made her first collegiate start in the Illinois State match, while sophomore Ashley Garr also was in the lineup for the first time this season. A total of 19 different players have started at least one match for Evans and assistant coach Bubby Leasure this season to date. Four of those players – fifth-year senior Leah Johnson, juniors Alyssa Carmack and Madeline Wideman and sophomore Kaylee Draper – have started all eight matches this fall.
• The 2004 BGSU team, like this year's edition of the Falcons, won only once in the first eight matches of the year. That '04 club actually began the season with a 1-8-1 mark, including three losses and a tie in MAC play. But, BG bounced back to qualify for the MAC Tournament with a 5-5-2 league mark, and the Falcons then proceeded to win three more games to capture the conference tourney title and advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history.
• Draper leads all BGSU players with 643 minutes played this season, followed by Carmack (636), redshirt sophomore defender Kylie Briem (578) and redshirt junior Jenny Fowler (551).