The Broncos led 1-0 at halftime following a backside header by Marco Lobo 34 seconds before the break. Freshman Sam Bell blew the game open in the second half, scoring two goals 48 seconds apart. Ryan Lemasters drove home the explanation point on the win with a penalty kick in the 86th minute. The Broncos pounded Buffalo for a season-high 22 shots, putting 10 on goal.
“I thought we were solid start to finish and played 90 complete minutes of soccer,” said WMU head coach Chad Wiseman. “We had four quality goals and Sam was fantastic with two of those. I thought defensively, we were really strong through the middle and it was nice to get our first shutout. We had great leadership from the upperclassmen.”
WMU’s first two goals came as a result of a corner kick. In the final minute of the first half, Chris Long served a corner across from the left. Sean Hazen gathered it backside and played it back across the box. Jason Grant jumped up to flick it on and Lobo headed it in at the post for his first goal of the year.
In the 74th minute, Edu Jimenez took another kick from the left. The ball made its way through the middle and Bell buried it backside. Bell struck again less than a minute later, volleying in a chip across the box from Kyle Farris.
Western Michigan’s fourth goal was set up off a free kick. Lemasters sent a shot towards Buffalo’s wall and a UB defender knocked it down with a hand ball, resulting in a penalty kick. Lemasters had no trouble finishing on the PK for his second goal of the year.
WMU held Buffalo to five shots, all of which sophomore goalkeeper Chase Rau made saves on, and did not give up a corner kick. A total of 22 Broncos saw action in the game.
With the win, Western Michigan improves its record to 4-6-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the MAC. Buffalo, under the direction of former WMU head coach Stu Riddle, slipped to 1-8-3 and 0-2-0 in the MAC.
The Broncos are on the road for their next two games, heading to Detroit Tuesday and Hartwick next Saturday. WMU returns to Kalamazoo to host IPFW Oct. 22.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Senior Anthony Grant's 'Golden Goal' gave the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team a 1-0 win over Northern Illinois University Saturday night (Oct. 12). The Mid-American Conference match was held at Cochrane Field.
With the victory, the Falcons improve to 3-5-4 overall and 2-1-0 in MAC play. The Huskies drop to 3-9-0 and 0-2-0, respectively.
Senior Sean Sikich drew the assist on the winning goal, playing a long ball forward to Grant, who sped past the NIU back line. Grant made a move to get past Huskie goalkeeper Andrew Glaeser, who was forced to come off of his line, and the Falcon senior slid the ball into the vacated net at the 101:06 mark.
BGSU's win snapped a seven-match NIU series unbeaten streak. The teams had played to a scoreless double-overtime tie in last year's meeting in DeKalb. Prior to that, the Huskies had won six consecutive matches vs. the Falcons.
In fact, Grant's goal was BGSU's first against NIU in nearly six years, since the teams' regular-season meeting in 2007. That match, a 3-1 Falcon victory on Nov. 2, 2007, was the Falcons' last win in the series.
The Falcons had a whopping 27-10 advantage in shot attempts on Saturday night, and BGSU put 12 shots on goal, to just two for the Huskies. The Brown and Orange also had a 10-2 margin in corner kicks.
But, Glaeser and his counterpart, BGSU senior goalkeeper Michael Wiest, each kept the opponent off the scoreboard through two 45-minute halves and the first 10-minute overtime period.
Glaeser made 10 saves in the match, and the Huskies had a 'team save' as well, as an early BGSU shot was cleared off the line by a Northern defender.
Wiest made two saves in earning the shutout, his fifth of the season and the 18th of his career.
Grant bounced back to score the winning goal after missing a penalty kick early in the second half. After sophomore Ryan James was taken down in the box in the 48th minute, Grant shot wide on his PK try. But, he responded by scoring his team-leading third goal of the season, and his second game-winning goal of the year, early in the second OT period.
On a gorgeous night at Cochrane Field, the Falcons came out flying. BGSU fired three shots on goal and had a corner kick within the first 2:15 of the match. Senior Ryan Snashall put a shot on target just 21 seconds into the match, and Grant saw his hard shot blocked on the goal line by a Huskie defender with only 92 seconds gone.
That Grant shot was deflected out of bounds for a corner kick, and after senior Brandon Silva took that kick, Snashall received a pass from redshirt freshman Max Auden and put a shot on target, forcing Glaeser to make another stop.
Northern's first solid scoring chance came roughly 17 minutes in. After a steal by Kyle Crichton at midfield, Isaac Kannah made a long run and fired a shot from distance. The ball was struck well, but went just right of goal.
Midway through the period, James and senior Zach Schewee combined to get the ball to junior Danny Baraldi near the end line on the left side of the goal. Baraldi slid a pass that went past one Falcon, but right into the path of senior Joey D'Agostino. But, the tri-captain's shot sailed high.
With 14 minutes left before the half, Silva played a pass ahead to James on the right side of the pitch. James cut the ball back, and played a diagonal ball into the penalty area. The pass was just out of reach of a diving Schewee at the far post.
Ten minutes remained in the period when Schewee stole the ball and made a long run. Snashall made an equally long off-the-ball run, and Schewee rewarded him by tapping a pass forward as the two entered the penalty area. Snashall fired a shot across his body, but Glaeser made a diving stop of the shot as it headed toward the far post.
While Wiest broke up numerous crosses and passes, his only two saves of Saturday night came just 32 seconds apart. First, Kannah hit a hard, curving shot, but Wiest was in position to make the stop. Then, with 8:41 left before halftime, James Stevenson booted a hard shot toward goal, but the BG 'keeper again was in perfect position.
Under six minutes remained in the period when freshman Joe Sullivan put Grant behind the defense with a nifty through-ball. Grant's first touch, however, was harder than he would have liked, and Glaeser was able to beat him to the ball and prevent a shot.
Just under two minutes later, Sullivan hit a hard shot from near the end line, but Glaeser was in good position to cut down the angle and make his fourth save of the opening half. He would make six stops in the second period.
Only two minutes into that second stanza, James and Grant worked a combination play to perfection, and James took Grant's return pass and headed into the box. He was hauled down by a Huskie defender. Initially, the referee ruled that the foul had occurred outside the penalty area, but after conferring with his assistant referee, he awarded a penalty kick to the Falcons. Grant, as mentioned, put the kick wide of the frame, and the match remained scoreless.
In the 53rd minute, a long Schewee run downfield sparked a BG flurry in the box. That flurry ended with a short Snashall one-timer smothered by Glaeser at the right post.
Northern's best chance of the match came against the run of play as the contest neared the hour mark. A seemingly harmless foray downfield suddenly turned into anything but, as Jayson LeSeth blasted a shot from roughly 22 yards out. The ball rang off the right goalpost, and the shot was hit so hard that the ball caromed all the way out of bounds for a BG throw-in.
Just 60 seconds later, the ball was at the other end, with Snashall and Schewee again involved in the offense. A right-side cross by Snashall was headed out of the penalty area, but Schewee corralled the ball and played a dangerous cross into the center from the other side. But, the NIU 'keeper was able to break it up.
Snashall put junior Vlad Lekarev through in the 65th minute. Lekarev took the ball into the box, and slid a short pass to Baraldi. A defender was able to block Baraldi's quick one-timer, knocking the ball out of the area. A shot by Silva was also blocked to end that scoring threat.
Soon after, Lekarev made a long run, taking the ball to the end line. He eluded a defender and played the ball back to James, who put a hard shot on target that forced Glaeser to make a diving stop.
With roughly 13 minutes to go in regulation, Schewee's through-ball found Lekarev, who slid a cross through the goalmouth. No Falcon could get to it before a defender knocked it out of bounds for a corner kick. Not long after that corner, sophomore Jake Genrich hit a diagonal ball into the box, where Lekarev met it in the air. The junior put his header on target, but again, Glaeser made a diving save to keep the match scoreless.
Under four minutes remained in the period when Schewee got in behind the NIU defense on the left side. He attempted to play a low diagonal ball to the charging Baraldi at the far post, but the pass was just out of Baraldi's reach. The teams headed to overtime.
In that first 10-minute session, neither team put a shot on goal. The Huskies saw back-to-back shots by Kannah and Andrew Palumbo blocked in the 92nd minute, with the second shot going out of play for a corner. But, the Falcons successfully dealt with that corner, and Baraldi and Lekarev headed the other way.
Baraldi found Lekarev on that counterattack, and a long run by the junior earned the Falcons a corner kick. Off of that corner, Lekarev got his head on the ball in the penalty area, but it was blocked by a defender.
With three minutes to go, Silva put a ball toward the far post, past the goalkeeper, but Grant was unable to keep it in play, and it went out of bounds for a goal kick. The Falcons' other shot of the period saw Schewee fire wide in the 99th minute.
Grant's winner was the only shot of the second OT period. The victory was the Falcons' first in overtime this season, in BG's fifth match to require extra time.
BGSU remains home for a midweek matchup, facing Cleveland State on Wednesday night (Oct. 16) at Cochrane Field. First touch is at 7:00 p.m., and like all BGSU home soccer matches, admission is free.