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Men’s soccer team works to get legs back after long week

Starting the season 3-0, the BG men’s soccer team lost the final game of what was a daunting 3-match week on Sunday in a double-overtime bout against Duquesne University.

The long week was a demanding one as the Falcons spent most of this week working on getting their ‘legs back,’ head coach Eric Nichols said.

As the Falcons work on preparing themselves physically for their next game, they understand that there are still some aspects of their game that they will need to clean up in order to carry their early success deep into the season.

“As a team we need to work on defending as a unit,” sophomore Jacob Roth said. “We call it ‘real defending’ where we try to stand the offender up instead of just trying to win the ball.”

The team understands that this will be a critical aspect to correct as the season progresses because it has already hurt them to date and the better teams will be sure to take advantage of their mistakes.

“We got stung a couple times for not being tighter against Duquesne and we could have been stung a few more times,” Nichols said. “The power house teams are going to punish us if we don’t tighten up defensively.”

While there have been minor defensive miscues, the offense has remained a strength of the team thus far in the season.

Whether it’s exploding for seven goals in one half, or falling behind early and battling back, the offense has consistently kept this team afloat.

However, the superb offensive displays haven’t just come from solo breakaways. Instead, the Falcons’ passing has been vital to the array of goals scored this season.

“With the team this year, I can just put balls in the box and they’ll be hunting for them, scoring goals,” Roth said.

Roth not only leads the Falcons with five assists on the year, but that number is good enough for the NCAA lead in the category as of Sept. 7.

Thus the Falcons bring a strong offense and an improving defense back home to Cochrane Field this Friday as they take on a competent Northern Kentucky team.

“Northern Kentucky is a great team,” sophomore Joe Sullivan said. “They’re really good defensively and they play hard, so it’s definitely going to be a good battle.”

The strength of Northern Kentucky is their ability to play organized and maintain a tight defense throughout the entire game, Nichols said.

“The question is, are we able to maintain our concentration all the way through because they are really good at taking their chances,” Nichols said.

If the early-season success means anything, the Falcons should have no issues competing well against the Norse. The Falcons lead the nation in average goals-per-game with four, as Northern Kentucky has only collected three total goals to date.

The Falcons will look to continue their growth bringing their 3-1-0 record home to play the 1-0-2 Northern Kentucky squad in front of the home crowd.

“We treat every day as a building block. The second our team starts getting satisfied with where we’re at, I think that’s when we’re going to run into problems,” Sullivan said. “So we have a championship game on Friday and we’re looking forward to a nice fight.”

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