MAC Men's Soccer Scoreboard - Saturday, Sept. 1
Western Michigan 1, DePaul 0 Final
Bowling Green 0, Marshall 0 Final
Western Michigan 1, DePaul 0 Final
CHICAGO, Ill.- Western Michigan continued its winning ways, picking up a 1-0 victory over DePaul Saturday on the road.
A free kick by Darren Jones in the 72nd minute was the difference maker, as the senior captain powered a shot from 32-yards out past Blue Demon goalkeeper Eric Sorby. It was Jones' first goal of the year.
The win improved WMU to 4-0-0 on the season, the best start for the program since the 2003 team won its first six straight. DePaul entered Saturday's match ranked No. 10 in the Great Lakes Region. Last week, the Broncos stunned another ranked opponent, upending nationally No. 25th-ranked Bradley 2-1 in overtime.
"It was a very efficient performance by us today," said head coach Stu Riddle. "I thought we controlled large portions of the match and as long as we were patient, we were going to find the goal that we deserved, which is exactly what happened."
WMU's best chance to score in the first half came in 28th minute when Jason Grant's shot from just inside the box skimmed off the cross bar.
Western Michigan dominated the shot count, 13-2, placing three on goal, while DePaul (1-2-0) did not put any on frame. It was the third shutout in four games for WMU keeper Sean Lewis and the Bronco defense.
"Obviously, we are very happy with the start of the season, but it is just the start of the season, and we will remain humble as we prepare for a tough challenge at Canisius on Thursday."
Western Michigan travels to Buffalo for a 2 p.m. match against Canisius Thursday, Sept. 6 and returns to Kalamazoo to host Loyola on Alumni Day Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m.
Bowling Green 0, Marshall 0 Final
Ninety minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods were not enough to settle matters between the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team and visiting Marshall University, as the Falcons and Thundering Herd battled to a scoreless draw Saturday night (Sept. 1). The non-conference match was held at Cochrane Field.
The result leaves the Falcons with a 1-1-1 record on the season, while the Herd is now 1-0-1 on the year. Marshall has yet to allow a goal in 200 minutes of play this year, and BGSU has posted two shutouts in three regular-season games in 2012.
The visitors outshot the Falcons, 23-14, on the night, but Marshall put only four of those 23 efforts on target. Junior Michael Wiest stopped all four to earn his second shutout of the year.
For Wiest, the shutout was the eighth of his career, in 16 starts, and was his sixth clean sheet in 10 total starts at Cochrane Field. In addition to his four saves on Saturday, Wiest also ventured into traffic to grab or punch away numerous crosses and serves.
At the other end of the field, MU's Daniel Withrow also had four stops to earn the complete-match shutout.
MU's Tom Jackson, who scored both of his team's goals in last weekend's 2-0 win over Wright State, led all players with a total of seven shot attempts on the night. None of those seven efforts was on goal, although Jackson did hit the post with a shot in the 61st minute of play.
On an overcast, humid night at Cochrane, the threat of rain seemed ever present, but precipitation was as scarce as goals. In the early going, the Herd was content to string numerous passes together in the defensive end before venturing forward.
None of the Herd's six shot attempts in the first half were on target. Wiest punched away a cross by Anthony Virgara in the 15th minute, and one minute later, BGSU junior Ryan Comiskey took a diagonal ball from sophomore Danny Baraldi, turned and fired a shot wide right.
Midway through the half, a Baraldi corner kick found the head of junior Marco Ilao, who redirected the ball just wide left from approximately eight yards out. The Falcons had another chance less than two minutes later, after stringing together several passes, but senior Chris McLean's centering ball went behind Baraldi in the box. The ball was deflected to sophomore Vlad Lekarev, making his first start for the Falcons, but his hard shot was wide of the target.
With under 10 minutes until halftime, Comiskey put a shot on target from a bad angle deep in the MU box. Withrow was able to deflect the shot, but the ball went toward Baraldi near the far post. Baraldi and a Marshall defender battled for the ball, and the Herd player was able to knock the BG sophomore's shot wide of goal to keep the match scoreless.
Late in the half, the Falcons' Zach Lemke slotted a through-ball toward junior Anthony Grant, who was slipping behind the MU back line. But, a Marshall defender was able to knock the ball away just before Grant arrived.
With just over a minute left before halftime, Jackson uncorked a hard shot for the visitors, but the ball whizzed just wide of the right goalpost.
The second half saw junior Zach Schewee unload a half-volley effort after a BG corner kick was blocked out of the box. Schewee got a great deal of force behind his shot, but a Marshall defender blocked the ball out of danger.
One minute later, Virgara took a pass from Jack Hopkins and hit a shot just wide of the far post.
The teams traded chances, as Lemke and Grant worked a give-and-go play in the Marshall end. Lemke took the return pass and fired a hard shot that, unfortunately for the home side, was hit directly at Withrow in the 59th minute.
Two minutes later, seemingly out of nowhere, Jackson headed into the penalty area for the Herd, and hit a soft shot that eluded everyone, but bounced off of the left post before Wiest covered up.
Midway through the half, Schewee made a long overlapping run down the left side of the field, took a pass from Lemke and hit a cross into the box. The ball found freshman Ryan James on the far side of the penalty area. James shot back toward the left side of the goal, but his shot was wide.
James was at the end of another nice BG buildup several minutes later. Numerous players, including Grant, Baraldi, Lekarev and redshirt junior Brandon Silva, were involved in a lengthy passing sequence as BG moved forward. Baraldi played a pass to James, who was facing away from goal approximately 20 yards out. James attempted to play the ball to himself, poking it between two defenders and spinning around them. However, as the ball bounded into the box, Withrow beat James to it by a split-second.
As the clock ticked under the 10-minute mark in regulation, Grant took a pass from Baraldi and drilled a shot from the right side. Withrow, however, parried the shot and grabbed the ball on a bounce. Soon after, Wiest grabbed a soft shot by Andrew Ferguson, which proved to be the final shot on goal of the second half. The teams headed to overtime.
The first OT period saw Marshall's Eddy Prugh, who did not play for the first 78-plus minutes of the match, make a long run and hit a hard shot on target with 90 seconds gone. But, Wiest was in perfect position to make the save.
Midway through the period, Grant nearly got in alone behind the MU defense, after a pass from Lemke, but a Herd defender did yeoman's work to catch Grant and take the ball off of his boot at the last minute. Soon after, Grant again had the ball deep in the Marshall end, with Lemke and Baraldi involved in the buildup. But, the junior's right-side shot sailed wide.
The second extra session saw Wiest punch away a dangerous-looking corner kick with a diving effort in traffic. At the other end, a diagonal ball from Baraldi went just over the head of a leaping Grant at the far post.
Wiest again knocked away a dangerous ball, punching Zach Hunter's cross out of the box with three minutes left. Neither team could mount a serious threat thereafter, and the match ended with zeroes on the scoreboard.
BGSU had a 7-5 edge in corner kicks in the match, and the foul count was nearly even, with MU whistled for 15 fouls and the Falcons 14.
For the Falcons, fifth-year senior Sean Hastings played 67 minutes on Saturday night. When he entered the match with just over 34 minutes gone, it marked his first appearance as a Falcon. A transfer from Oakland University, Hastings is in his third season with the BGSU program.
The Falcons will hit the road for the next three matches, beginning witih a pair of games in Conway, S.C., next weekend. BG will face Wofford on Friday (Sept. 7) and host Coastal Carolina two days later. CCU entered this week ranked 16th in the nation in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll. After a trip to Cleveland State on Sept. 14, the Falcons will return home for a three-game homestand, beginning Sept. 18 vs. Detroit.