TOLEDO - Host Toledo got a pair of goals just over two minutes apart early in the second half, breaking open a close game en route to a 3-0 win over the Bowling Green women's soccer team Sunday afternoon (Oct. 7) at Scott Park.
Angelica Hernandez had a pair of goals for the home team, while Natalia Gaitan also scored. The Rockets (5-8-1, 3-2-1 Mid-American Conference) were credited with a 16-9 margin in shots, including a 6-4 edge in shots on goal.
UT's Kelsey Borowitz had four saves in goal to earn the shutout win. For the Brown and Orange, now 1-12-1 overall and 0-5-1 in the MAC, freshman Jenna Underwood had three saves. Those three stops included a save of a Rocket penalty kick early in the second half.
The Rockets got on the scoreboard with 7:35 gone. After a BGSU foul, a UT free kick sailed toward the penalty area. Somehow, the ball squirted through a group of players congregated there, and it rolled right into the path of Hernandez. The Rocket striker, all by herself in the center of the box, merely had to pick her corner. She chose the lower-right-hand corner, and there was very little Underwood could do.
The Falcons' first shot attempt of the day came with just over 14 minutes gone. Freshman Demy Whitaker blocked the ball as a Rocket defender attempted to clear it out of the UT end. Whitaker tracked it down near the left sideline, cut back, took a few dribbles and fired a low shot that went just left of the target.
Moments later, Whitaker possessed the ball on the right side of the pitch. The Toledo native played a crossing ball into the box, but Borowitz was able to leap and grab it just before junior Kaitlyn Tobin arrived.
The Rockets had several shot attempts midway through the period, including a dangerous redirection by Hernandez at the right post. After Rachel MacLeod crossed the ball from the right side, Hernandez, stationed at the near post, stuck out her leg and put the ball on frame, but Underwood was there to make the point-blank save.
The ball went out of bounds for a corner kick, and that corner led to two more shots for the home team, but both were blocked by the Falcon defense.
At the half-hour mark, the Rockets' Rachael Kravitz hit what was arguably the hardest shot of the afternoon. A right-side cross by the home team was headed out of the goalmouth by a BG defender, but the ball went right to Kravitz. The UT midfielder hit it in stride, but the 20-yard shot whizzed wide of the target.
The Rockets had a 9-2 advantage in first-half shots, and took their one-goal lead into the intermission.
In the second half, it didn't take long for the hosts to double that lead. With a minute-and-a-half gone in the period, a Toledo player was taken down in the box, and a penalty kick was awarded.
Gaitan took that kick, and Underwood made a diving save, lunging to her left to block the shot. But, the rebound went right to Gaitan, who quickly placed it into the left side of the goal.
Only 15 seconds after that goal, the Falcons nearly answered. Freshman Jessica Jarvis laid the ball into the path of senior Sarah VonderBrink, near the 18-yard line toward the right side of the pitch. VonderBrink hit a curving shot that was headed toward the upper half of the net, but Borowitz, with a leaping effort, was able to tip the ball over the bar with her fingertips.
The Rockets, however, increased their lead to three goals roughly two minutes later. MacLeod's low cross from the right side found the boot of Hernandez, who one-timed it home from the center of the box.
The visitors kept battling, however, and with roughly 27 minutes left in the match, the Falcons had a furious flurry at the offensive end. Sophomore Kaylee Draper crossed the ball into the penalty area, and several BG players took shots. Tobin, Jarvis and sophomore Sidney Huth all poked at the ball near the right post. A shot by Huth was blocked, and a follow try by Tobin was deflected by Borowitz. The ball came out of the box to redshirt soph Amanda Nelson, who fired a shot just wide left.
Twenty minutes remained in the match when Jarvis got her head on a corner kick by Draper. The freshman, heading away from the goal, nodded the ball back in the direction of the net. It went toward Tobin, who hit a shot near the far post that forced Borowitz to make a quick reaction save.
The Falcons had three corner kicks in a 40-second span late in the match, but the Brown and Orange could not get on the scoreboard. Tobin led the Falcons and tied for match honors with three shot attempts, while Huth and Whitaker had two shots apiece on the afternoon.
BG had a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks, including a 5-0 margin in the second half, and the Rockets were whistled for 12 fouls to the Falcons' seven.
BGSU will be home for a pair of matches next weekend. The Falcons will host Buffalo on Friday night (Oct. 12), then will meet Akron on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 14). Friday's match begins at 7:00 p.m., while Sunday's UA contest starts at 1:00 p.m. at Cochrane Field.