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September 21, 2023

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Women have thrilling weekend, split two overtime games

After nearly knocking off the No. 1 team in the Mid-American conference on Friday, the BG women’s soccer team rebounded to pick up their first overtime victory of the season against Miami yesterday.

Friday’s match against Ball State ended in dramatic fashion as the Falcons took the conference leaders into two overtime periods before the Cardinals’ Emily Rein squandered BG’s hopes of an upset with a goal in the final minutes of the double overtime period.

“It was kind of heartbreaking to play like that and not be able to win the match,” said BG Coach Andy Richards.

BG was first to score in the match on a goal by Samantha Bland on a pass from Stacey Lucas, who was credited with the assist.

Until Bland’s goal, BSU had yet to give up a goal in MAC play.

“There was a lot of positives to come out of it, unfortunately not out of the result,” Richards said, who was proud of his team’s two-goal performance against a great defensive team.

Leading 1-0 heading into halftime, BG gave up two early second half goals to BSU, which were scored less than five minutes apart.

Tied 2-2, neither team could score for the remainder of the second half or in the first period of overtime, until Rein’s late second overtime goal ended the match.

Coming out yet again on the wrong side of the stick losing in overtime for the fourth time this season, BG took on Miami, a game that would finally end the streak of overtime losses for the team.

It was Katie Stephenson who came up big in yesterday’s match, scoring a double overtime goal to lead the Falcons to a 1-0 victory.

Assisted on the goal by Colleen Kordan, Stephenson’s goal was the first of her collegiate career.

“It wasn’t a pretty goal, but we are grateful for her effort,” Richards said, adding that Stephenson only played around 15 minutes in the match and happened to be in at just the right time.

Defense was also key in the win as red-shirt freshman Alexa Arsenault earned the shutout, recording four saves on the day.

With a win and a tough game where they forced the top-ranked MAC team into double overtime it seems as though the Falcons may be peaking at just the right time.

“It’s kind of interesting what pressure does to people ” but the team has responded the way we want them to,” Richards said.

To qualify for the MAC Tournament, Richards thinks his squad will have to pick up two more wins with three remaining games in order to be one of the top eight teams who advance to post-season play.

After recovering from more than 200 minutes of game play, the Falcons will welcome a weekend of two home games against Ohio and Akron.

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