Falcons look for three in a row

The BGSU women’s soccer team was picked to finish third by Mid-American Conference coaches this past week, even though the Falcons are the returning MAC champions.

Coach Andy Richards doesn’t read too much into the pre-season polls.

“The polls don’t mean anything really,” Richards said. “Coaches like to put pressure on other teams. Yet I am complimented that we were picked to finish third this season.”

The Falcons will have back four starters and 10 letter winners from the 2005 championship season. BG won a record 14 games last season, with their final record 14-7-2. The team also won their first MAC regular season title, going 9-2-0 in the conference play.

Women’s soccer continued its domination of the MAC tournament, winning it for the second time in a row last season.

After the Falcons inspiring 2005 season, they made their way to the NCAA championships. Losing nine seniors may be hard to overcome for some NCAA coaches, but Richards is looking at it in a different way.

“You can’t replace some of the great talent we had last season,” Richards said. “Replacing players is important and we have the talent to do it. Our junior class has a lot of experience. They have been MAC Champs ever since they came to Bowling Green. There’s going to be a lot of completion for playing time, we need to find out identity.”

The first game of the 2006 season is Aug. 25 in Milwaukee, Wisc. The Falcons will be participating in the Milwaukee Cup against Marquette and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

“Basically its Marquette, Wisconsin and Sacred Heart and whoever wins the most games, earns the Milwaukee Cup,” Richards said.

The first home game of the season is Sept. 1 against Xavier. Although the schedule is tough this year, Richards welcomes it.

“I like to challenge my players with tough scheduling, but we have 11 home games which will help out our younger players,” Richards said. “Marquette, Eastern Illinois, Michigan St. and Xavier are very tough games.”

The captains for this season’s team are lone senior Lindsay Carter and junior Jamie Babich.

“They are both very talented soccer players and leaders,” Richards said. “Lindsay is a leader that players will follow on the field. Jamie is more a vocal leader on the field.”

For the second straight season, the Falcons have had an excellent recruiting class. Last season’s class was headlined by MAC Freshman of the Year Corbie Yee.

The 2006 class welcomes 14 new players on the squad. This class is ranked tenth in the Great Lakes Region. “

“The freshman that we recruited have a good chance of playing early,” Richards said. “I don’t discriminate by age – if you’re talented you’re going to play. Three of four freshmen may start right away.”

The success and popularity of the women’s soccer program at Bowling Green is providing excitement for the fall semester. After losing nine seniors from last seasons team, the Falcons will need to rally together as a team and prepare to three-peat as MAC Tournament Champions.

“Anybody on our team can have a breakout season this year – kids can surprise you,” Richards said.