BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Bowling Green State University men's soccer team scored two early goals, then withstood a wind-aided second-half attack by Florida Atlantic University Friday night (Oct. 26). The result was a 2-0 win for the Falcons in Mid-American Conference play at the FAU Soccer Stadium.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 7-7-3 overall and 3-2-1 in MAC action. BGSU has won back-to-back matches for the first time this season, and the Falcons have a three-match unbeaten streak.
The Owls drop to 2-11-1 and 0-6-0, respectively.
Junior Anthony Grant and sophomore Danny Baraldi each had three points on the night, with Baraldi assisting on Grant's goal and Grant returning the favor.
"This was a crazy game," said Falcon head coach Eric Nichols. "There were significant, sustained winds blowing toward one goal for the entire 90 minutes. We had the wind with us in the first half, they had it in the second half, and it definitely affected the game. Neither team had a shot on goal against the wind tonight."
Indeed, the wind direction was evident in the shot totals. For the match, FAU had an 18-12 advantage in total shot attempts, with BGSU holding a 9-5 edge in shots on goal. In the first half, the Falcons had 11 shots to FAU's one, and BG had all nine shots on target in the period.
In the second half, though, the home team had a whopping 17 shot attempts to BG's one, including a 5-0 advantage in shots on goal.
Junior Michael Wiest had five saves, all coming in the second 45 minutes, to pick up his seventh shutout of the season and his third in as many matches.
Grant got the Falcons on the board in the 13th minute of play. Baraldi took a free kick, and the ball glanced off of an FAU defender to Grant. The Kingston, Jamaica, native scored his eighth goal of the season, his second game-winning goal in as many contests and his fifth GWG of 2012.
Then, with nearly 25 minutes gone, Grant got the ball to Baraldi near midfield, and the sophomore blasted a shot into the net from approximately 60 yards away.
"Anthony did a nice job of finishing on the set piece, and Danny scored from 62 yards out," said Nichols. "Michael (Wiest) did a nice job of controlling the box, particularly in the second half.
"He made a few saves, primarily off of long-range shots. But, those shots were dangerous because they had Hurricane Sandy behind them. Other than those shots from distance, though, it didn't get too dangerous for us. The guys did a great job defending, and Mike controlled things very well.
Baraldi led all players with five shots in the match, putting all five on target. Grant, junior Ryan Comiskey and freshman Ryan James each had two shot attempts for the Falcons.
"This was a weird game," said Nichols. "We probably won't even watch the film of this one, because there was not a lot of soccer being played due to the wind. But, we got a pair of good goals, we defended well, we got our three points and we will head home tomorrow."
The Falcons will close the regular season with a pair of home matches. BGSU will face Wright State in non-conference action Tuesday night (Oct. 30) at Cochrane Field, and the Brown and Orange then will face West Virginia next Saturday evening (Nov. 3). WVU is a MAC affiliate member for men's soccer.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. for both of next week's matches at Cochrane.