Falcons lose match to WMU

Evan Hayes and Evan Hayes

The Bowling Green State University Women’s Soccer Team dropped their match this past Sunday against Western Michigan, losing by a score of 2-1. Sophomore Skylar Fleak scored the lone goal of the match for BG, while senior goalkeeper Alexis Smith recorded nine saves in her first career start in the Orange and Brown.

“We continued to battle,” head coach Lindsay Basalyga said. “I think that’s been the story of who we are right now, is we continue to fight even though we were down.”

The loss is the Falcons’ sixth straight and drops them to a record of 6-11-1 on the season, while Western Michigan improved to 11-3-3. BG is now sitting in last place in the MAC with a record of 2-8-0.

Fleak recorded the first shot for BG during the sixth minute of play, but WMU then controlled the ball for the next 25 minutes. The Broncos pressured Smith and the Falcons’ defense, recording 15 shots in the opening period. The pressure culminated during the 12th minute, when Emma Kahn’s shot found the back of the net to put WMU up 1-0.

“They were able to break us down individually on defense a few times, and they were lucky to get two goals today,” Smith said. “But I think we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, and I’m excited to see what we can do on Thursday.”

The Broncos then fired off five more shots over the next six minutes, with Smith recording two saves during that span. Her leaping save at the 18th minute ignited the Falcons, who then rattled off four straight shots of their own, which included Fleak’s goal to make the score 1-1 during the 30 second minute.

“I think we had some fun in the attack, we took some risks. We got some numbers forward and that was really fun to see this late in the season, that we’re still pressing on and getting chances to score goals,” Parkinson said.

After coming out of halftime tied 1-1, WMU jumped ahead during the fifty-sixth minute. Kahn received a pass from Alex Ruffer and buried the shot from the middle of the box to put the Broncos up 2-1.

“I think we had some individual breakdowns defensively in really key areas of the field. I know we gave up 33 shots but Lex only made one really tough save and then we gave up two goals,” Basalyga said. “So the shots we were forcing were from a little bit further out. But we had key individual breakdowns defensively in the wrong areas of the field, so that’s something we need to do better at.”

BG continued to attack on offense when given the opportunity, but WMU’s goalkeeper Stephanie Heber saved Alexis Fricke’s shot during the 61st minute. Mikaela Couch and Alexa Cheripko had blocked shots at the 63rd and 66th minute. Madison Schupbach and Juli Knapp also both had attempts during the 85th minute, but both missed the net.

The Falcons honored their two seniors, Hayley Parkinson and Smith, during a ceremony before the game. Smith’s nine saves were a career high, as were her 90 minutes played, while Parkinson recorded one of the four BG shots on goal.

“They’re incredible. I feel like I’ve said a lot over the last year about them, because we don’t wait until senior day to celebrate them, it’s a season long process,” Basalyga said about her seniors. “We wouldn’t be where we are right now without their commitment to the big picture and not being selfish.”

BG gave up 33 shots on the day, while only taking 11 of their own. They also failed to get a corner kick, while giving up six to WMU.

The Falcons will wrap up their regular season this Thursday when they travel to Eastern Michigan for a road matchup, starting at 3p.m.