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September 29, 2023

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Men’s soccer starts off slow, loses to Michigan

The BG men’s soccer team lost 5-2 to Michigan on Wednesday, dropping their overall record to 3-8-3. BG received goals from freshman Nathanyal Thomas and sophomore Cameron Hepple in the effort.

The Falcons came out of the gate sluggishly, and according to Hepple, that lead to a poor first half performance.

“I thought we played bad in the first half,” Hepple said.

“We weren’t mentally into it, and we kept making silly mistakes that we got punished for,” he said.

Michigan wasted no time capitalizing as it took them just 2:51 to score their first goal. The Wolverines continued their scoring streak, netting 3 more first half goals, including two by Steve Bonnell.

Down 4-0 at the half, the Falcons regrouped and came out stronger for the second half.

“After we realized that we had to come back into the game we started to play harder and play with a little bit more heart and some pride, and in the second half we just started to play a lot better.” Hepple said.

Just over 12 minutes into the second half, Hepple scored the first Falcon goal of the match with a header into the left corner of the net.

“I just tried to get my body in front of the keeper so he would just mess up somehow,” Hepple said. “It just popped up off the top of my head and went into the back of the net.”

Unfortunately for BG, Michigan would answer with just over 15 minutes left in the match, when they scored their fifth and final goal. The Falcons’ Nathanyal Thomas was able to add another goal late for BG when he bent a shot past the leaping goalkeeper, but it was too little too late.

The Falcons were forced to play the game without starters Abiola Sandy, Thomas McLean, and Dusko Topolic, but were still able to manage 15 shots to Michigan’s 17. The Wolverines, who just dropped out of the national top 25 this week, would have been the third ranked opponent BG has faced this year, joining then No. 19 Ohio State and then No. 24 Michigan State – both of which ended in a 1-0 loss for the Falcons.

Hepple said Michigan was good, but certainly beatable.

“I just thought they were really organized,” Hepple said.

“If we had come out playing how we did in the second half, it would’ve been a totally different game, and I’m pretty sure we would’ve won,” he said.

The Falcons will face yet another ranked opponent tomorrow when they hit the road to take on the No. 23 Akron Zips for the team’s final regular season road game of the year. They will then return home on Oct. 24 to face the University of Detroit as part of a three game home stand to cap off the regular season.

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