Mens soccer lose MAC opener

Zane Miller and Zane Miller

The Bowling Green Falcons men’s soccer team lost the first Mid-American Conference game of the season 1-0 in overtime to the Northern Illinois Huskies.

“I think we defended pretty well,” Head coach Eric Nichols said. “But we’ve got to get goals.”

The game winning goal was scored by Northern Illinois sophomore midfielder Giovanni Garcia at the 96:39 mark, his second goal of the season.

“We just had a bad clearance in the back,” freshman defender Moe Mustafa said. “They countered, no one stepped, they had a shot and I guess our keeper just mis-hit it. It hit the bar and went down.”

The Falcons got a total of 12 shots, with four on goal, while Northern Illinois had 16 shots with seven going toward the net.

“16 shots is probably about normal,” Nichols said about the opposition shot totals. “The bigger problem is on our end, we need to create more on frame.”

The score was knotted up 0-0 for the majority of the game before game winner was scored.

“We didn’t have that many shots,” Mustafa said. “We’ve just got to work at getting our chances and moving the ball, if we can do all that, then we’re going to score.”

Both teams also played more aggressively on defense, as the Falcons and Northern Illinois each had season record tying numbers in yellow cards, with two and three, respectively.

“We did a good job defensively, we kept them shut out for more than 90 minutes,” Sophomore defender Alexis Souahy said. “Unfortunately, it was only about five or six minutes later when they scored.”

The coaches were also satisfied with the defensive play by the team.

“A shutout over 90 something minutes, we’ll take that.” Nichols said.

The Falcons now have the first MAC game of the season under their belt, as the team looks to improve on their 2-2-1 record in intra-conference matches last season.

“It was pretty exciting to be in my first joint game, especially in the MAC,” Souahy said. “I’m looking forward to playing even more games.”

This was also the first overtime game of the season for the Falcons, after having a 5-1-1 record in matches requiring overtime last season.

“They’re a good team,” Nichols said of Northern Illinois. “They’ve played a great schedule, they’ve had some good results, they were 5-2, now they’re 6-2 and it’s a MAC team. All these MAC games are going to be close.”