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April 11, 2024

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Men’s soccer leads nation in scoring with help from Flynn, defeats NKU

The Bowling Green men’s soccer returned to the win column over the weekend on a late goal by the nation’s leading scorer, Pat Flynn.

After taking the lead 1-0 right before halftime, Northern Kentucky responded in the second half by tying the game up on a header.

However, continuing to play as a unit, the Falcons were able to battle back and take a 2-1 lead with just five minutes left in regulation.

Upon taking the lead, the Falcons never looked back as they secured their fourth victory of the season.

“These guys are known and very proud of their fitness,” head coach Eric Nichols said. “They go deeper than us and they’re known as a really hard-working, extremely fit team, so for us to be able to beat them in the second half, it’s good.”

While the Falcons were able to rebound after suffering their first loss of the season the week prior, they understand that there are technical aspects of their game that they will need to clean up.

The Falcons were able to get off 17 shots to NKU’s 12, but the issue is less than half of their shots being ‘on goal’.

“We’re leading the nation in scoring and that’s because we put ourselves on frame,” Nichols said. “When we’re missing the frame we’re not giving it a chance. These guys are better than that.”

The Falcons wish to improve upon their already successful offense, but they are cognizant of their defense and the work that needs to be done on that side of the field as well.

The defense even more so than the offense because their defensive play is the key for the offense to remain successful.

“Everything we do is built off of our defending and even the goal we gave up I think we could have prevented it,” Nichols said. “We gave them a couple chances, so I think that we need to clean things up. We could have gotten a clean sheet.”

Despite getting another victory while operating under the notion that all aspects of their game can be improved, the Falcons may still be lacking elsewhere: demeanor.

“I think we played well; we competed well, but there was a part of our demeanor that was lacking,” Nichols said. “I’d like to see a little bit more of a killer spirit.”

While both the coaching staff and players feel that they could use work in every phase of the game, the Falcons were able to move to 4-1 on the season, maintain a perfect record at Cochrane Stadium.

The near perfect record is because of their ability to play cohesively game in and

game out.

“I thought overall that we played as a unit,” junior midfielder Ryan James said. “You have your times where you’re not playing as good, but I think we as a team played better more times than they

[Northern Kentucky] did.”

By playing as a unit, the Falcons have had great success at converting the opportunities when they have the chance. This is evident with sophomores Pat Flynn and Jacob Roth leading the nation in goals and

assists, respectively.

The Falcons continue to use the entire starting lineup as well, not allowing the team to be centered about any one player.

“Each person steps up individually and if you look at it collectively, there is a lot of good stuff going on,” Flynn said. “It happened to fall on me early in the season, but it’s really a team effort. Our team is up there in every statistic.”

To win, you need both a good offense and defense, you can’t just have one, James said.

Ultimately, the Falcons have been productive in every aspect of the game, but continue to strive for improvement, and this desire to get better has led to the early-season success.

The Falcons will look for their fifth win of the season in an early-week bout against the University of Michigan, on the road in Ann Arbor at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 16.

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