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Falcons to ‘tighten up’ going into opening weekend

The men’s soccer team is beginning its 2013 season with two home games over Labor Day weekend. The Falcons will take on Malone University [Division II] Friday and the University of Michigan Monday.

BG is starting its season following a physical exhibition match against the University of Cincinnati, which it won 4-2 this past Saturday.

The team has been practicing this week and fixing issues that arose during the exhibition match.

“I think we’ve tighten up defensively,” Head Coach Eric Nichols said. “We had a few gaps in the back line, a few gaps in the defensive-mids that tightened up. We didn’t like how we conceded two goals back-to-back, so hopefully we’ve tightened up the competitive toughness. We lost concentration a little bit.”

The Falcons’ first regular season match is against the Malone University Pioneers. Malone finished the 2012 season 6-9-1, but had a decent season against its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponents. The Pioneers went 6-6-1 in GLIAC play including a 0-0 tie against No. 21 ranked Saginaw Valley State and a 1-0 win against No. 23 ranked Notre Dame College. Their season ended with a 5-1 loss in the GLIAC tournament quarterfinals against Ohio Dominican University.

“Our only focus has been Malone,” goalkeeper Michael Wiest said. “Everyday since Cincinnati, we’ve been focused on Malone. Just trying to get better every practice.”

Midfielder Danny Baraldi will be sitting for the game against Malone due to a yellow card accumulation penalty from the previous season.

“We have 100 percent faith in anyone who goes out onto the field,” Midfielder Brandon Silva said. “We’ve all practiced together. We all know what we’re doing. Danny’s a real good player and, obviously, we’re going to miss him but, we have plenty of guys who can step in and fill that role.”

The second game is against the University of Michigan Wolverines. Michigan finished the 2012 season 11-10-1 and managed only two wins away from Ann Arbor, Mich. BG defeated the Wolverines this past year in a road game in Ann Arbor, 2-0, and at home, 2-0, in 2011.

“Full focus now is on Malone,” Nichols said. “We’ll worry about Michigan after that game is over.”

The BG men’s soccer team take on Malone Friday and Michigan Monday at Cochrane Field, both starting at 7 p.m.

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