Bowling Green State University women's soccer coach Matt Fannon has announced his team's fall schedule for 2019. The Falcons' 19-match regular-season slate includes seven contests inside the friendly confines of Cochrane Stadium.
The Falcons, the defending Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament champions, have put together a non-conference schedule that is challenging, to say the very least. Six of the eight non-league matchups are on the road, and BG will travel to play two teams from the Big Ten as well as a pair from the Big East and one each from the SEC and the Big 12.
"We are excited about our 2019 schedule," said Fannon, who has been named the MAC Coach of the Year in each of his first two seasons at the BGSU helm. "We believe we have put together a very challenging non-conference schedule that will prepare us for the start of Mid-American Conference play."
The home slate includes non-conference matchups with Valparaiso and Dayton, as well as MAC meetings with Akron, Ball State, Buffalo, Central Michigan and Miami.
The road portion of the schedule sees the Falcons face DePaul, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia and Xavier in non-league play. The Brown and Orange will hit the road to face Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan once the conference schedule commences.
The regular season gets underway with two road matches in a three-day span. The Falcons will face Kentucky and Xavier to begin the 2019 slate.
The home opener is set for Friday evening, Aug. 30, when BG battles Valparaiso at Cochrane Stadium. That is part of a two-match homestand, which also sees Dayton come to town on Thursday, Sept. 5. UD is coached by Eric Golz, who was an assistant coach at BGSU in 2004 and '05. The Falcons won the MAC Tournament in both years, also capturing the regular-season title in '05.
The Falcons then begin an arduous four-match road swing, beginning with matches at Michigan and Michigan State. The U-M coaching staff includes Tiffany Hansen, who played two seasons for the Falcons before spending three years as a BG assistant coach.
The Falcons head to DePaul and West Virginia on back-to-back Sundays to conclude the pre-MAC schedule. WVU won the Big 12 Conference Tournament title last fall and, like the Falcons, advanced to the NCAA Championships.
The conference schedule begins with home matches vs. Akron and Buffalo on the final weekend of September, The Zips were the only MAC team to defeat BGSU last season, picking up a 1-0 win in Northeast Ohio late in the regular season. BG had an overall record of 12-1-1 vs. league opponents last fall.
The month of October sees BG play six of nine contests on the road. The Falcons begin the month by traveling to Kent State and Ohio, before hosting Central Michigan on Thursday, Oct. 10.
BG then travels to Eastern Michigan, before returning home to face Miami and Ball State the following weekend. For the Falcons, three consecutive Sunday contests will be rematches of 2018 MAC Tournament battles. The Brown and Orange defeated EMU and Ohio in one-goal games to advance to the league tourney championship match.
In that championship contest, BG and Ball State battled through regulation and a pair of overtime periods before the Falcons captured the conference title via penalty kicks. This fall's Ball State matchup, on Sunday, Oct. 20, will conclude the home portion of the regular-season slate.
The Falcons return to the road for the final three matches, facing Northern Illinois and Western Michigan before ending the regular season with a Halloween matchup vs. arch-rival Toledo.
The top-eight teams in the regular-season standings will advance to the MAC Tournament, with quarterfinal-round games held at campus sites on Sunday, Nov. 3. The four survivors from that day's play will converge upon the site of the highest-remaining seed for the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 8, and the championship match on Sunday, Nov. 10. The MAC Tournament winner earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAAs.
Prior to the start of the regular season, the Falcons will face Oakland in a scrimmage on Aug. 14, giving BGSU a valuable tune-up prior to facing Kentucky just over a week later.
"We are excited to get back to playing soccer and competing," said Fannon. "We are motivated to prove that we can compete amongst the best consistently.
"We do not feel like we are defending anything; the new year means we are fighting for the first time – with everyone else – for a 2019 championship. We believe we have a squad and an extended staff that can be successful, and will focus on the details that will make us so."
As mentioned, the Falcons won both the MAC regular-season and tournament titles in 2018. BGSU went 14-5-3 overall, tying the school record for wins and setting a new record for fewest losses in a season, and the Falcons were 10-1-0 in MAC regular-season play. BG won the league regular-season title for just the second time in program history, and the total of 10 conference wins set a new school record. The Brown and Orange captured the MAC Tournament title for the third time.
Since Fannon took the helm prior to the 2017 season, the Falcons are 27-12-4 overall, 16-5-1 in MAC regular-season matches and 20-6-2 in all games vs. conference foes.
For more information on the women's soccer program, follow the Falcons on Twitter (@BGAthletics and @BGSUWSoccer), Instagram (bgsuwsoccer) and Facebook (bgsuwsoccer) as well as on the web at BGSUFalcons.com.
2019 BGSU WOMEN'S SOCCER SCHEDULE
(as of June 7, 2019 - subject to change)
Wed., 14 – at Oakland (Scrimmage)
Fri., 23 – at Kentucky
Sun., 25 – at Xavier, 1:00
Fri., 30 – VALPARAISO, 7:00
Thu., 5 – DAYTON, 7:00
Sun., 8 – at Michigan, 2:00
Thu., 12 – at Michigan State
Sun., 15 – at DePaul
Sun., 22 – at West Virginia, 1:00
Fri., 27 – AKRON, 7:00 *
Sun., 29 – BUFFALO, 1:00 *
Fri., 4 – at Kent State *
Sun., 6 – at Ohio *
Thu., 10 – CENTRAL MICHIGAN, 7:00 *
Sun., 13 – at Eastern Michigan *
Fri., 18 – MIAMI, 7:00 *
Sun., 20 – BALL STATE, 1:00 *
Thu., 24 – at Northern Illinois *
Sun., 27 – at Western Michigan *
Thu., 31 – at Toledo *
Sun., 3 – MAC Tournament Quarterfinals (campus sites)
Fri., 8 – MAC Tournament Semifinals (highest remaining seed)
Sun., 10 – MAC Tournament Championship (semifinal site)
* Mid-American Conference match
HOME matches at Cochrane Stadium
All times Eastern and p.m.