Season alive for Falcons

It was all set up. The BGSU men’s soccer team was going to be cleaning out their lockers right now. They were not supposed to go to Kalamazoo, Mich. and beat the Broncos on their home field. Western Michigan even had history on its side.

The last two times BG and Western Michigan faced off in the Mid-American Conference tournament, the Broncos came away with 2-0 and 5-0 shutouts respectively. Western Michigan also won the most recent meeting; last Friday by a score of 2-1.

Conventional wisdom would say that the sixth seeded Falcons would not be able to handle the third seeded Broncos on their home field.

As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friend.”

The Falcons, with a record coming into the game of 3-13-1 and everything riding against them, won their first conference game of the year beating the Broncos 2-1. With the win, the Falcons advance to play Akron in DeKalb, Ill.

Western Michigan came out and took the early advantage in the seventh minute off of a Terry Dowding goal.

The score was set up by Tom Oatley who delivered a low shot along the goal line after a throw in. The goal was Dowding’s team-leading eighth.

“It was pretty much as far as score goes the exact opposite of the regular season,” said BG coach Fred Thompson. “They got the early goal about seven minutes which is what we did in the first game.”

In the first game against the Broncos, it was BG’s Jacob Lawrence who tallied the early goal. But like that game, the team that put the first goal up on the scoreboard was not able to hold on for the victory.

The Falcons tied the game in the 18th minute after another Lawrence goal.

Alec Perea was credited with the assist on the play, which gives him the team lead with four on the season.

After playing Western Michigan the past two games, Lawrence has two goals in his last two games.

“I’m two for two in Western Michigan – I guess I like it up there,” Lawrence said. “It was cool my uncle got to see it. Being from Mississippi that doesn’t happen often.”

BG took the lead late in the first half when Arun Sathyanathan blasted a powerful shot from about 15 yards over the head of Bronco goal keeper Casey Aubil. The goal was the first of Sathyanathan’s career at BG. Drew Nichols assisted for the goal.

“Drew Nichols made a tackle and that freed up the ball and I took it with my left foot,” Sathyanathan said. “I beat one guy and then I just hit it as hard I could was able to lob it over the keeper for the goal.”

Aubil finished the game by turning away seven of the nine shots that came on goal against him. BG’s Paul Shoemaker, on the other hand, was not quite as busy as he only had four shots against him, stopping three.

With the victory, the Falcons snapped a seven match winless streak against the Broncos that dated back to the 2002 season. The loss for the Broncos was their first setback in five postseason outings at the WMU Soccer Complex.

The Falcons will now take on Akron at 12:30 p.m. today as the first game of a MAC tournament doubleheader at Northern Illinois. The second game will feature top ranked NIU taking on fourth seeded Buffalo. The Bulls defeated IPFW to reach the semi-finals.

“They are riding high, they are playing well,” Thompson said. “They’ll try to come out and get an early lead and squash our spirits – they won’t be able to but they’ll try.”

The last time BG played Akron, the Zips earned a 4-1 victory at Mickey Cochrane Field. The Zips come into the game winners of their last eight games. In their last game, they clinched a share of the MAC by beating Buffalo 2-1.