Men trounce Western

The BG men’s soccer team defeated Western Michigan 4-1 on Saturday, boosting its overall record to 5-9-3 and its Mid-American Conference record to 1-2-1.

The Falcons had goals from Abiola Sandy, Chuko Evwaraye, Cameron Hepple and Hunter Van Houten.

The team scored a season-high four goals, had the largest margin of victory of the season and won its first conference game.

Coach Fred Thompson said he was pleased with the victory, but still thought his team could have done some things better.

“I think we played well,” Thompson said. “I’m not sure if it was the best performance of the year, but it was very good.

“We played with a lot of confidence, at the beginning of the game and the beginning of the second half we did a great job of finishing.”

The Falcons struck first with just under 18 minutes to play in the first half when Sandy headed a ball past the WMU goalkeeper for a goal. The goal was Sandy’s fifth of the season, which leads the team.

Later in the half, the Falcons scored again when Evwaraye made a highlight-reel goal drawing a rousing reaction from the home crowd. Evwaraye made an impressive move on a WMU defender, dribbled to his left and fired a hooking shot past the diving goalkeeper into the upper left corner of the goal.

“They just gave me a lot of space, so I just cut the ball in, then another guy stepped in, so I just cut around him,” Evwaraye said. “I tried to put it on a frame and I got a pretty good deflection off of it and it went in.”

After having a 2-0 lead at halftime, the confident squad wasted no time scoring in the second half.

When just over seven minutes had elapsed in the half, a Van Houten corner kick sailed over the heads of a leaping group of Falcons and Broncos and landed perfectly at the right foot of Hepple. From there, Hepple was able to redirect the ball’s momentum into the net from point-blank range for his fourth goal of the season.

Less than four minutes later, the Falcons added yet another goal when Van Houten chased down a ball played in by Ryan Perea, and fired a shot that nicked off the post and into the left side of the net.

“[The defense was] up and I was left alone,” Van Houten said. “I got the ball at the top of the 18 [yard box] and just shot and scored.”

The Broncos were able to break the shutout by adding a goal late in the match, but it was too little, too late as the Falcons capped their dominating effort.

With the win, BG put itself in position for a home play-in game in the MAC Tournament. The team’s next game against Northern Illinois will be its last of the regular season, and the team is approaching the match as a must-win opportunity.

“We have another big one coming up Friday against Northern Illinois,” Thompson said. “Ideally we need to win and we can be assured of a home [play-in] game.”

Evwaraye said the team’s victory on Saturday was an important one heading into the NIU match. “This win was a big win to keep the momentum going,” he said.

“We’re really going to go at NIU with a lot of intensity, and if we play our game, I think we will get a good result.”

The match against Northern Illinois starts Friday at 1 p.m. at BG’s Mickey Cochrane Field.