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Men’s soccer team loses, but proves they can contend

The Bowling Green men’s soccer team lost their biggest game to date, but they proved they belong.

Coming into the Wednesday match, BG had yet to falter at home, having conceded just two goals in four home games for a perfect 4-0 record at Cochrane Field.

However, the match proved to be a test that the Falcons had yet to face.

Michigan State University, ranked 16 in the nation, had allowed just one goal through seven regular season games, carrying a 4-1-1 record.

Thus, despite the Falcons featuring the nations leading individual scorer and leading the nation in team scoring, the Spartans were able prevail with a 1-0 shutout of the Falcons.

The loss was the first for the Falcons inside Cochrane Field this season, but the team remained in high spirits.

“We always think we’re equal with anyone so we played our hearts out and played a great game,” junior Jake Genrich said. “They’re a good team and we stuck it out until the end, so I’m really happy with the progress we made today.”

While the Falcons did not like the result on the scoreboard, they realize that they held their own against a nationally recognized team.

Being able to prove to the nation that they belong in the conversation as one of the better teams in the country is something that the Falcons pride themselves on.

“This team was full of belief. They felt like we could win and I did too,” head coach Eric Nichols said. “We didn’t win, but I think we proved we can play with them for sure, there’s no question about that.”

The Falcons understand that there are positives to be taken away from such a hard fought game, but it hasn’t prevented the disappointment.

The team trained and prepared to win the game, Nichols said, so not to win has left an undeniable sting.

“We played right with them, but we had a few letdowns,” senior Danny Baraldi said. We should have put the ball in a few times and just didn’t, and it cost us. It’s pretty disappointing, but it’s over with and we’re moving onto the next game.”

As the Falcons move onto St. Bonaventure on Sunday, they leave knowing that they failed to play their best soccer against the Spartans and are encouraged by their performance, Nichols said.

“This game really didn’t mean too much in the big scheme of things, so we’re looking forward to St. Bonaventure,” Baraldi said. “Coach will probably come up with a big game plan, so hopefully we’ll just move on from here and just go back to the way we were playing.”

The way the Falcons had been playing was one that had begun to put them into the national conversation, leading the nation in various offensive statistics and holding a near perfect record.

But the Falcons will shift their mindset to St. Bonaventure and look to get back on track against the Bonnies on Sunday in Olean, NY after failing to put the ball in the net for the first time all season.

“You wish you can change things, but that’s the way it is. You can’t really get to mad about it, just move on and go onto the next game,” Genrich said.

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