Courtesy of Bowling Green Athletic Communications
Head coach Eric Nichols and his staff – assistant coaches Charlie Edwards, Greg Hennelly and Zach Lemke – return a total of 13 letterwinners, including nine starters, from last year's club. The 2012 Falcons finished with an overall record of 8-9-3 and a MAC mark of 3-3-1. BGSU tied for fourth in the league regular-season standings last fall, and qualified for the MAC Tournament.
The 2012 club posted the program's highest win total in nearly a decade, since the 2003 season. BGSU went 5-4-1 at home, 3-4-2 on the road and 0-1-0 in neutral-site matches last fall.
The list of returning letterwinners includes nine starters. Two of those starters, senior Anthony Grant and junior Danny Baraldi, earned All-MAC First-Team honors last year, giving BG a pair of all-league first-team honorees for the first time since 2005. Additionally, Grant shared the league's Newcomer of the Year Award.
Grant and Baraldi ranked 1-2 on the team in scoring. Grant had 20 points in his first year with the Brown and Orange, including a BG-high eight goals along with four assists. Baraldi scored 19 points on six goals and a team-leading seven assists.
Grant led the MAC with five game-winning goals, and he scored the winner in all three of the team's conference victories. His GWG total was the highest by a BG player since Bobby Biggs scored six winners in the 1997 season.
Baraldi had two GWG last season. Both players have scored at a point-per-match pace in their BG careers to date. Baraldi has 37 career points in 37 games at BG, with 11 goals and 15 assists as a Falcon. Grant had his 20 points in 20 matches in his initial season with the Brown and Orange.
Four of the Falcons' top-five scorers from last season return. In fact, the returning players combined to score 22 of BGSU's 23 goals and register 22 of the team's 27 assists during 2012. Sophomore Ryan James had 10 points last year, good for third on the team, with four goals and two assists. Senior Ryan Comiskey had five points last fall, while classmates Ryan Snashall had four and Zach Schewee and Brandon Silva three apiece.
In goal, senior Michael Wiest played all 1874-plus minutes, and had 100 saves, a goals-against average of 1.10, seven shutouts and a save percentage of .813. Wiest's total of seven shutouts was the highest by a BGSU 'keeper since Dave DeGraff had seven clean sheets in the 2001 season. No Falcon has had more shutouts in a season since Scott Vallow had 10 in 1998.
In front of Wiest, senior Sean Sikich played every second of every match at a center-back position during his junior campaign. Silva played 1866 of the roughly 1874 minutes last fall, with sophomore Jake Genrich on the pitch for 1822 minutes as a freshman. Genrich, Sikich, Silva and Wiest each started all 20 matches for the Falcons last season.
Baraldi made 19 starts and Grant 18 last year, while Schewee was in the starting lineup 16 times and James and Snashall 13 apiece. In addition to the aforementioned players, the returning letterwinners include senior Matt Griesinger and juniors Jon Kumher and Vlad Lekarev. All three players started at least twice, with Kumher making 10 starts on the season, and each of the three played in 13 or more matches.
Additionally, fifth-year senior Joey D'Agostino returns to the acrive roster in 2013. D'Agostino started the first two matches last fall before suffering an injury and missing the remainder of the season.
Silva has started 55 matches in his BGSU career to date, while Schewee has made 52 starts. Baraldi (37), Wiest (33) and D'Agostino (31) each have started over 30 matches in their respective careers, while Snashall, Sikich and Griesinger all have made over 20 starts at BG. The returning players have combined to make a total of 362 starts in their BGSU careers to date.
This year's edition of the Falcons played an international friendly against the Dixie Soccer Club of Mississauga, Ontario, on Sunday (Aug. 17), winning by a 7-0 score at Cochrane Field.