Men’s soccer draws against Ohio State, prepares for Michigan State Wednesday

The BG men’s soccer team played its best game of the year according to them, but could not come out with a win against Big Ten opponent Ohio State. BG outshot Ohio State 35-12 yet they left Cochrane Field with a 1-1 tie.

“We played extremely well in all facets of the game we were on top with the exception of scoring,” head coach Eric Nichols said. “We were sharp moving the ball and we were sharp on the defensively as well.”

Before this game, Nichols and the team were focused on improving their marking all around the field. Ohio State posed a threat to them because of how talented its at counter attacking off of your attacking plays, Nichols said.

“We improved on our marking today for sure this game really set up for them to counterattack,” he said. “This team is maybe more dangerous when they are on their heels and we had them on their heels a lot today but we were sharp and aware of their ability.”

The Falcons made some adjustments coming into this week after their past weekend in Milwaukee. The adjustments were not made to counteract Ohio State strengths, Nichols said.

“Those adjustments were made due to our shortcomings last weekend not only for Ohio State,” Nichols said. “I definitely think was a different team than the one that showed up in Milwaukee, I feel good about this performance.”

The Falcons dominated the game in all three areas of the field Friday night. They held possession of the ball most of the game. When they got their opportunities to take some shots on goal they did but they just could not convert them. Forward Anthony Grant was constantly pressuring the defense throughout the night. He led the Falcons with nine shots three of which were on target.

“We kept pressing them and kept them on their back lines but we were unfortunate not to get a goal,” Grant said. “We go at the defense and when we do that we are automatically going to get shots off.”

Ohio State had a few good chances towards the end of the second had as they had the ball for the last few minutes. They had two corner kicks in the last minute but could not convert either of them as the second was headed out by a BG defender and that ran out the rest of the clock during regulation. The Falcons dominated the game in both overtimes winning most of the 50/50 balls, passing the ball and getting shots off as well. They just could not convert their opportunities.

“I think we played awesome it’s frustrating we couldn’t score but we played right with them and even outplayed them if you ask me,” junior Danny Baraldi said. “It was frustrating but we were not frustrated because we knew we were dominating.”

This game against Ohio State set the Cochrane Field record for attendance with 3,126 people coming out to watch the game. Every place there was to watch the game was full from the students section to the bleachers even the standing spots along the sidelines were full. A good amount of those fans were kids there for the after game autograph session as well as students and other fans.

“The crowd is like the 12th man in the game,” Grant said. “So if you’re playing in front of that crowd anytime in your career it gives you a huge motivation but we were just unfortunate today.”

The Falcons will be back in action on Sept. 18 when they travel to East Lansing, Mich. to face Michigan State. This will be their third Big Ten opponent this season as they tied the previous two in Michigan and Ohio State.

“We are ready for Michigan State Wednesday,” Baraldi said. “We played probably our best game of the year tonight so we are going to keep that going and hopefully go take down Michigan State.”