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After dropping MAC opener, Falcons bounce back with win

It’s always tough getting that first Mid-American conference win, said BG women’s soccer coach Andy Richards.

His team rebounded from a loss to Northern Illinois on Friday to capture its first conference win on Sunday against Western Michigan.

“When you don’t get that first win, there is some pressure going into that second game,” Richards said.

With this weekend’s play the Falcons’ moved to 4-5-1 on the season and 1-1 in MAC play.

In the opening minutes of Friday’s home match, both BG and Northern Illinois had scoring opportunities, but it was the Huskies who capitalized first with a goal by Karen Enockson, just 1:19 into the game.

As is expected in MAC competition, physical play was seen throughout the match with numerous fouls charged to both teams.

In similar fashion to the quick, surprising goal scored by NIU’s Enockson, Stacey Lucas slipped a cross into the net past goal-keeper Audrey Holmer to tie the score at 1-1 heading into halftime.

Not far into the second half Enockson chalked up her second goal of the match with some quick footwork to swerve around BG’s defenders.

From there, the rest of the match remained a story of too little too late as the Huskies scored their final goal of the match with 18:50 left to go in regular play to seal the fate of the match, bringing the score to 3-1.

With little time to spare, BG struck back immediately after the Huskies’ goal when Carolyn Nesline aimed a shot that missed by inches, bouncing off the top crossbar of the goal.

In the final five minutes of play, BG would bring the score within one goal as Tiernay Tilford set up a pass good for a goal by freshman Alicia Almond, fresh off the bench and recording her first collegiate goal.

Despite the late onslaught of offensive efforts by the Falcons, they would not strike again, dropping their first MAC competition by a score of 3-2

“I think we caused ourselves this defeat,” Richards said, who thinks his squad could have prevented the second and third goals scored by doing a better job of clearing the ball.

“It wasn’t enough competitive fight from everybody all the time,” he said.

With little time to rebound, BG was back at Cochrane field for another home match against MAC opponent Western Michigan.

To open up the match, Western made the first goal in the opening half.

Down a goal, the Falcons were against the odds, proven by statistics-in 49 consecutive matches, the team who has scored first has went on to win the match-a streak that BG would snap three goals and a victory later.

With all three goals being scored in the second half, freshman Jackie Tamerlano made the first goal for the Falcons with an assist by Megan Moran, making her the leading scorer for the squad this season with four goals.

From there it was a break-out game for Danielle Cygan who had been plagued by injury and illness earlier in the season.

Cygan broke the match open in scoring two goals, one on a penalty shot and another on an assist from Corbie Yee.

“That was the key moment in the game for me,” Richards said of Cygan’s penalty kick goal.

Richards commended Cygan for showing maturity and leadership in taking the penalty kick.

“I wanted to step up and take that,” Cygan said.

“It’s been a tough start, but I think I owed it to the team, the coaches and myself,” she said of her performance on Sunday.

Not only did things step up from an offensive stand-point, but defensively goalkeeper Christy Zabek helped maintain the Falcons’ lead recording five saves, all in the second half.

“I think it is a good indicator of how this team is coming together,” Richards said of his team’s comeback win.

“We are finding ourselves as a team.”

The soccer team will be back in action for another two-game home stand starting Friday against Central Michigan and ending Sunday with Eastern Michigan.

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