BGSU women’s soccer wins 4th straight MAC Championship | Sports

BGSU women’s soccer wins 4th straight MAC Championship | Sports

For the fourth consecutive season, the Mid-American Conference Tournament was held in Bowling Green. The semifinal round took place on Nov. 4 at Cochrane Stadium. This would be followed by the championship on Nov. 7.

In the first match of the day, top-seeded Bowling Green took down four-seeded Buffalo by a score of 1-0 to secure a spot in the championship. The 2021 championship marks the fifth consecutive appearance in the feature event for the Falcons.

In the nightcap of the semifinal round, a high-scoring match between Kent State and Ohio ended in a 3-2 victory for Kent State. This would mark the Golden Flashes return to the feature for the first time since their tournament championship in 2016. However, late in the contest goalkeeper Sarah Melén was issued a red card, disqualifying her from the remainder of the contest and the Golden Flashes’ next game which would be the MAC Championship.

In the regular season matchup, Bowling Green defeated Kent State 3-2 at Nix Stadium in Kent, Ohio. That contest featured goals from BGSU’s Audrey Shea, Lacee Bethea and Madi Wolfbauer with KSU goals coming from Karly Hellstrom and Cameron Shedenhelm, who would end as the MAC’s highest scoring duo for the 2021 season.

The championship match was off to a quick start as Bowling Green’s Nikki Cox put the Falcons on the board first with a goal just six and a half minutes into the game. The Falcons would continue to control a large portion of time of possession in the first half although Kent State’s Cameron Shedenhelm did have opportunities to score.

In the second half the Falcons got off to a slow start but that all changed when Audrey Shea scored a header off a corner kick 69 minutes into the match. Shortly following Shea’s goal, Lacee Bethea scored what would prove to be the final goal of the match sealing a 3-0 victory for Bowling Green.

Bowling Green Head Coach Jimmy Walker talked about his team following the victory.

“We’re a good team, we’ve got good players, they work hard and we just gotta keep doing what we’re doing as we get ready for the NCAA Tournament,” Walker said.

Following the match, the conference tournament team was announced and awards presented. The team consisted of four Falcons: Nikki Cox, Audrey Shea, Madi Wolbauer and Lacee Bethea. Bethea also earned Tournament MVP honors after registering a goal in both the semifinal and final matches.

The win marked Bowling Green’s fourth consecutive season of winning both the regular season and tournament championship. It is also the Falcons sixth MAC tournament victory which is the highest total of any team in the conference.

Along with the Conference title, is an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which will kick off this Friday. The Falcons had to wait until the selection show Monday evening to find out who their opponent would be. 

The selection show on revealed that the Falcons would head to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines whom they have already played once this season. In the first matchup the Wolverines topped the Falcons 2-1, but a lot has changed for both sides since non-conference play in August.

BGSU sixth year senior, Rachel Muller gave her thoughts on the Falcons Tournament matchup being just up the road in Ann Arbor.

“Being so close, it’s gonna be great to have all the support, family, friends, alumni, fellow student-athletes. It’s really exciting to know what kind of support we’re gonna get,” she said.

Kickoff for the first round match is set for 6pm EST on Friday, November 12th. Tickets for the game can be purchased on the University of Michigan Athletics website, or at the gate on Friday.

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