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September 21, 2023

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After falling 3-1 at Buffalo Friday, women’s soccer team defeats Akron in overtime thriller

An overtime victory at Akron on Sunday gave the BG women’s soccer team its first Mid-American Conference victory in almost three years after losing to Buffalo on Friday.

Head coach Lindsay Basalyga said Sunday’s victory was a huge win for the Falcons and an important moment for her team to move along in its process.

“I’m so proud of this team’s commitment to the unknown and doing the daily work to put them in a position to have success,” she said.

After going scoreless against the Zips in 90 minutes of soccer, Falcon freshman forward Skylar Fleak scored the game-winning goal in the 95th minute of the overtime period.

“The composure on Skylar’s [Fleak] game-winning goal was a perfect way to end the fight on the day,” Basalyga said.

The 1-0 victory was the second shutout for the Falcons this season and goalkeeper Lauren Cadel’s seven saves proved to be crucial for the Falcons’ success.

“Our backline and Lauren [Cadel] did a great job shutting down a dangerous Lani Smith and we had a lot of fun in the attack,” Basalyga said.

Despite the Zips outshooting the Flacons 21-13 overall, only seven of Akron’s shots went on goal while BG was able to place six shots on frame.

Fleak’s game-winning goal on Sunday wasn’t the only goal she scored for the Falcons this weekend.

The weekend started out with a Friday evening game at the University at Buffalo Bulls for the Falcons.

The Bulls took the lead after only five minutes of play, but Fleak scored the game-tying goal for BG off an assist from freshman Leah Runkle in the 44th minute.

Buffalo’s Katie Roberts scored two goals for the Bulls in the second half, making the final score 3-1.

On Friday, Basalyga said Buffalo played with confidence and her players just weren’t able to win the individual battles.

“Our back line shape wasn’t as clean as it can be and we were exploited. On the flip side, this was the most dynamic we’ve been in the attack and we figured out that we can still score goals,” she said.

While being shutout in four games prior to this weekend, the Falcons were able to score in both games against Buffalo and Akron and thus gained some confidence in the attack.

Skylar Fleak is now the leading scorer for the BG women’s soccer team with four goals and one assist this season.

After Sunday’s win, Fleak said although the Falcons had their chances before, they knew they had to keep going and eventually things would fall into place for the young team.

“We have been working on the process and working hard every day in practice so we knew it [the win] would come,” she said. “It was just an awesome feeling when the ball found the back of the net.”

BG women’s soccer improved its record to 2-9-0 overall and 1-3-0 in the MAC. The Falcons will be back in action Oct. 10 at Cochrane Field against Central Michigan.

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