Women take on E. Michigan

For the women’s soccer team, it all comes down to today’s game.

Today, the eighth seeded Falcons will travel to Ypsilanti, Mich., to take on Eastern Michigan in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.

The Chippewas are the top seed in the playoff.

The Falcons will go into the game as the underdog, but coach Andy Richards said that BG is comfortable in that role.

“The bookies would say [Eastern Michigan] is the the favorite and they should beat us handily,” Richards said. “We know that when we’re the underdogs and we’re on the road we tend to play up.”

Part of the reason for BG’s confidence coming into this game is the fact that they have been playing well over the last few weeks, and also will be coming into today’s game relatively healthy.

“There’s nobody that has to miss out to injury or sickness right now,” Richards said. “We should be able to put out our strongest 11.”

The Falcons are also confident because of how close the MAC teams played this season. BG played Eastern Michigan at home in its first MAC game this season. The Falcons lost in a closely contested game, 1-0.

Richards said that BG has become a better team since then.

“I think we’re a different team to what we were at the beginning of the year, but I suspect they’ve progressed as well” Richards said.

The Falcons played that game without the services of Julie Trundle, and have also made several positional changes since then.

Another key for the Falcons will be the play of goalkeeper Ali Shingler, who had a number of key saves in Friday’s loss to Ohio State. Shingler has no playoff experience, and before this season, had only seen limited action because the spot was occupied by Erika Flanders.

Richards said that he expects her be able to handle the pressure of the playoffs, especially after the way she played against Ohio State.

“She made some spectacular saves against Ohio State, and we were very happy with her overall performance,” Richards said. “It was a little unfortunate [for her] to let three goals in because I certainly don’t think her performance deserved that.”

Being the eighth seed, there is no way for BG to know where they will be playing for the second round contest, should they win today.

The game begins at 1:30 today.