Men’s soccer gets first MAC win to keep post-season conference hopes alive

Brandon Shrider and Brandon Shrider

With its Mid-American Conference tournament hopes on the line, the BG men’s soccer team made enough plays in a wild game to keep its season goal alive.

“They were part of an epic game, one of the craziest I’ve seen as a coach,” said head coach Eric Nichols. “To come out on top in one of those

is exciting.”

Since their spring season, the Falcons have maintained the goal of reaching the MAC

tournament.

Saturday evening, BG found a way to keep those hopes alive.

Tied 1-1 with Western Michigan, one minute into overtime, forward Joe Sullivan made his best Ryan Heuton impression diving to save the potential go-ahead goal at the left post.

Illegally using his arm for the save, Sullivan was immediately issued a red card, disqualified from the match, and the Broncos were awarded a

penalty kick.

However, Ryan Heuton, having made five saves previously, dove and made his biggest save of the day, securing the ball and keeping the Broncos off the scoreboard.

“Going into the game we knew that if we were to lose this game, we’d be out of the MAC tournament, so we’d have been mathematically eliminated if that goal were to go in,” said Sullivan. “I didn’t mean to do it, but looking back it was kind of lucky that it did hit off my arm because Heuton was able to make the save, but I guess it helped us win.”

Jacob Roth described the consecutive plays by Sullivan and Heuton as the “turning point” of the season.

About eight minutes later, with just 14 seconds left in overtime, Jacob Roth fired a ball into the box and Max Auden headed in his second and final goal of the game.

“I heard somebody say there were twenty seconds left, so I took a touch, took a little bit of time and just put a ball into the middle of the box,” said Roth. “Max [Auden] and [Pat] Flynn were both there, it happened to go over Flynn’s head and Max just buried it.”

Auden’s header gave the Falcons the 2-1 victory; their first MAC win of

the season.

Getting the win gave BG three points in the MAC, and preserved its chances at making the conference tournament.

“It’s a huge win; it keeps us in the run for the tournament. We just have to keep busting and give it our all,” Roth said.

“Right now we’re in a tough position. We needed three points today, so the win was huge,” Auden said. “It’s very exciting and we’re going to enjoy this, but it’s not enough yet. We still got two more games, so starting tomorrow it’s back to work.”

Now 11-5-1 overall and 1-2-1 in the MAC, the Falcons are switching their mindset to the

next game.

“We’re just building momentum right now,” Auden said. “We have the I-75 cup next, so that’s a must win.”

The I-75 cup is the rivalry between BG and Wright State.

The Raiders will come to Cochrane Field on Nov. 4 for the Falcons’ last non-conference game of the season.