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Evansville, Indiana –
The Bowling Green State University women's soccer team posted 10 shots overall on Friday night, including two shots apiece from four different players, yet couldn't find the back of the net as the Falcons fell on the road in non-conference play to the Evansville Purple Aces 2-0 at Black Beauty Field at Arad McCutchan Stadium in Evansville, Indiana.
The loss drops BGSU to 0-2-0 all-time versus the Purple Aces and 0-3-0 on the young season. Evansville improves to 2-1-0 on the year with the victory.
"We gave up an early unfocused goal off a corner and found ourselves chasing the entire game. We switched our formation at halftime to try and work ourselves back in and I'm really proud of the way the team responded," stated head coach Lindsay Basalyga
. "The work rate and soccer was there overall tonight, but we lacked focus at a few key moments in the game and Evansville was able to capitalize. I've said it before, winning is the toughest thing to do in sports, especially when you are working on building confidence and self-belief. With that being said, I wouldn't want to go through this part of our process with anyone other than these 22 players. Eventually they'll get tired of this outcome and I'm really excited for that moment."
Bowling Green looked to get on the scoreboard first in the early minutes, as senior Ashley Garr
sent a header toward the goal which sailed wide left in the fourth minute for the first shot of the contest.
However, it would be the home standing Purple Aces that would score first when Emily Richardson played a short corner to Tatiana Pagan at the top left corner of the box. Pagan lined up a shot from 20 yards out and put it past BGSU goalkeeper Lauren Cadel
to put the home team in front early at 1-0 in the 11th minute.
After the BGSU defense blocked an Evansville header attempt out of play in the 12th minute and then saw a Purple Aces' shot sail high in the 16th minute, the Falcons looked for the equalizer only to see another Garr shot fly wide of the post in the 17th minute of the opening half.
The rest of the first half saw the Falcons' Cadel make two stops in goal for BGSU, one in the 22nd minute and another in the 41st minute, as the Orange and Brown were outshot 4-0 during that span and 9-2 overall in the first 45 minutes of play and trailed the Purple Aces 1-0 at the halftime intermission.
Looking for the tying goal early in the second half, BGSU got a shot from freshman forward Skylar Fleak
in the 50th minute which was on target and forced Evansville goalkeeper Simone Busby to make a stop on the play, her first of the match.
Yet the shot attempt was just one to the Purple Aces' seven scoring looks to start the half, as Cadel made not one, not two, but three saves over the first 14 minutes of the second period, including back-to-back stops on two Evansville opportunities within 30 seconds of each other in the 51st minute.
BGSU would register three shots over the next 17 minutes of play from Elisa Baeron
, Sidney Huth
and Leah Runkle
, but not before Evansville increased its lead on an insurance goal from Nicki Baham on a rebounded shot in the 64th to put the Falcons down 2-0.
Runkle looked to score again in the 74th minute, this time putting the shot on frame only to see it hauled in by Busby in front of the goal to keep the Falcons off the scoreboard.
Refusing to quit, Bowling Green continued to attack the goal offensively, getting shots from Fleak in the 78th minute and another shot from Baeron in the 82nd minute, both of which went wide of the goal, as Evansville held off the Falcons for a 2-0 win.
BGSU's Cadel made six saves in the first 69:37 minutes of play, while junior transfer Alexis Smith
made her Falcon debut on Friday night, picking up one save over the final 20:23 of the contest.
Offensively, four Falcons in Garr, Baeron, Runkle and Fleak each tallied two shots apiece for the game, while Huth and Kara Ross
added one shot apiece in the loss.
Evansville outshot the Falcons 21-10 for the contest, as nine of those Purple Aces' shots were on goal compared to just two by BGSU. The Purple Aces also held a slight 5-1 advantage in corner kicks on the night.
Bowling Green (0-3-0) will return home to host Cleveland State on Friday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. at Cochrane Field.