Falcons fall to Cinci in front of rowdy crowd

The BG men’s soccer team lost 3-0 to Cincinnati on Wednesday, moving their overall record to 3-7-2. The team was able to amass eight shots on goal in the match, but none could find the net.

Despite the loss, BG coach Fred Thompson said he was pleased with his team’s play considering it was without four of its starters. Defenders Thomas McLean and Dusko Topolic, as well as goalkeeper Paul Shoemaker, all sat out due to injuries, while Cameron Hepple was in the Bahamas playing for the Bahamian National Team.

“We had to shuffle things up a little bit, but overall it went quite well,” Thompson said. “The game was quite even.”

After the Falcons played the Bearcats even through the first half of play, Cincinnati scored its first goal off a corner kick in the 65th minute. From there, the Bearcats were able to add two more goals in a span of 18 minutes to boost their lead to 3-0.

“We played with them, sometimes better, and sometimes with them being better,” Thompson said. “It really wasn’t until they scored a goal that there was any real difference in the two teams.”

Senior forward Abiola Sandy echoed his coach’s feelings, saying the game was even until that 18 minute stretch. “In the first half, we didn’t do too bad, and we did some good things,” he said.

“For the first 20 minutes of the second half we did some good things and had some opportunities to score. Then, for the last 19 or so minutes of the second half, I have no idea what happened.”

BG is not the only team to fall to the Bearcats in Cincinnati, as UC (5-5-1) boasts a perfect home record of 5-0 this year, outscoring opponents 14-1 on their home field.

Gettler Stadium is a notoriously difficult setting for opposing teams to play, and the same applied for the Falcons.

Sandy says the hostile environment was frustrating at times because it made communication between players difficult. “It was really tough,” he said.

“They had their fans right behind our goal. Whenever we would try to communicate on defense, it would be hard because we had to scream at each other because they were making so much noise,” Sandy said.

Thompson said it was a good experience for the team to play in such an intense atmosphere. “They were very loud and they were boisterous,” he said. “It’s always great to play in front of a crowd.”

“The student population was great. It was a very good environment,” he said.

The Falcons have dropped five of their last seven contests, but look to turn that trend around as they head into Mid-American Conference play.

The team also has two major tests coming up next week when they hit the road to take on Michigan (8-2-1) and Akron (8-2-1), who are ranked No. 21 and No. 22 in the nation, respectively.

The team will first look to get back on track Sunday at 1 p.m. when they return home to take on first-year MAC foe Hartwick at BGSU’s Mickey Cochrane Field.