Women’s soccer clinches back-to-back MAC

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Women’s Soccer 11/3 – Photo courtesy of @bgsuwsoc on Twitter

Brandon Loe and Brandon Loe

Prior to Oct. 28, Bowling Green women’s soccer had not held first place outright in the Mid-American Conference since the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season played in the spring. They entered the day in third place and needed multiple things to happen on the final day of conference play to finish as regular season champions and host the MAC Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

A win against the rival Toledo Rockets would guarantee the Falcons second place and a first round bye for the conference tournament. A draw between Kent State and Ohio, the first and second place teams, would vault the Falcons into first place. All games started at 3 p.m., so they would finish near the same time.

The history is dynamic between the Rockets and the Falcons. Both teams tied for the most MAC Tournament championships with five each. Since the 2017 Tournament final, the Falcons have held the advantage in the annual rivalry game.

Fall weather set the stage for the season finale against the Rockets after rain earlier in the week left Cochrane Stadium’s field damp and mushy for kickoff.

In the first half, much of the contest was played in the neutral third with an occasional attack from both teams. This was followed by more of the same in the second half with Toledo making a hard push late in the half rallying multiple shots on goal, but all were stopped by Falcons goalkeeper Lili Berg.

The even score after 90 minutes led the game into an overtime period, and the first goal was the game winner. Just shy of six minutes into the overtime period, Nikki Cox buried the shot for the Falcons following a deflection. This was Cox’s 23rd goal in a Falcons uniform, ranking her fifth on the career goals record list for BGSU.

Following the conclusion of the game, BGSU awaited the results from Athens, Ohio between the Kent State Golden Flashes and the Ohio University Bobcats. Tensions were high as just one goal would end it in overtime. With 13 seconds left in the match, the ball carried out of play on an endline with no one in the vicinity. The Falcons bench erupted into cheers as it meant the game ended in a tie, resulting in the Falcons becoming MAC regular season champions for the fourth straight season.

BGSU will host the semifinal and final round of the MAC tournament yet again at Cochrane Stadium. The semifinal matches will be Buffalo versus Bowling Green at 4 p.m. EST and Kent State versus Ohio at 7 p.m. EST on Nov. 4th. The tournament will conclude Nov. 7, at 1 p.m. EST featuring the winners of the two semifinal matches. All tournament matches can be seen on ESPN+.