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September 21, 2023

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Women’s soccer now focused on MAC play

For BG women’s soccer, the time has come to leave the non-conference games behind and to focus on competing in the Mid-American Conference.

MAC play starts with two road games for the Falcons. On Friday, BG will play Ball State, while on Sunday the Falcons will take on Miami.

Head coach Lindsay Basalyga said her team’s strength lays in its process and the excitement her team has for starting conference play.

“The fact that we are entering the MAC, we are undefeated right now,” she said. “Starting MAC play just means a clean slate at this point in our process, taking everything we have learned tactically, emotionally and putting that into the pressure situation of competing in the MAC. “

Senior Kylie Briem said the excitement the team has for playing in the MAC already starts in the pre-season and just keeps building up during the regular season games. She added that the MAC games are what the team ultimately works for and that it is exactly what the team is ready for.

The first opponent for BG is the Ball State Cardinals who currently have a record of 4-1-2 and have outscored their opponents 12-6 so far.

The second opponent for the Falcons, the Miami Redhawks, enter MAC play with a 6-1-0 record, the best record among MAC teams this season.

Basalyga expects her team to play with a lot of energy and confidence and to have the drive to make an impact on the field.

“Really what we are going to do as we open up against Ball State is stay true to who we are defensively, but get uncomfortable and have some freedom and some fun in the attack,” she said.

Falcon freshman Rachel Winters said that every game in the MAC will be a battle for the team but the Falcons are well prepared for battle after a good week of practice.

“You never know who is going to win; anyone can bring anything on any given day,” she said. “I know we will have to compete for 90 minutes; nothing is going to come easy, we are just going to have to battle through it the whole time.”

BG women’s soccer has lost its last two conference openers and is 8-7-2 overall in MAC openers since its inaugural season in 1997.

Briem said that there are no easy opponents in the MAC and the Falcons will have to go into the games with an open mind and their skills set to get results.

“There’s not one team that you can walk in there thinking we are really going to dominate, we are really going to kill it,” she said. “It’s always a battle and every team is good.”

For Basalyga, the MAC is about getting uncomfortable on the field and starting out on the road may not be a bad thing for her team.

“It’s always nice to play at home, but when you travel you’re together the whole time,” she said. “There is something really special about going on the road, from the moment we leave till the moment we get back, we are with each other and home games don’t provide that.”

On Friday, the Falcons will travel to Muncie, Indiana to take on the Ball State Cardinals at 5 p.m. BG will end the weekend with a trip to Oxford, Ohio to take on the Miami Redhawks on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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