Karen McMahon's goal early in the second half broke a scoreless tie and lifted the University at Buffalo to a 1-0 win over the Bowling Green State University women's soccer team Friday evening (Oct. 18). The Mid-American Conference match was held at UB Stadium.
With the victory, the Bulls improve to 5-7-2 overall and 2-5-0 in MAC play. The Falcons are now 0-12-1 and 0-6-1, respectively.
"We had some good opportunities tonight in the attack, but didn't capitalize," said BGSU head coach Lindsay Basalyga. "I'm proud of the fact that we kept pushing to try to find a way to win.
"Winning is the hardest thing to do in sports, and it isn't just talent based, but mentally based. I am proud of this team and their commitment to step on the field and be a little bit stronger than the moment before. They could have shut down weeks ago, but there is a strong desire to leave the program in a better place than they found it, and that takes guts and courage. I can work with guts and courage!"
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Lauren Cadel made 11 saves in the match, including 10 in the first half. She increased her season and career total to 105 saves through her first 13 matches as a Falcon. Cadel's 2013 total ranks eighth on the BGSU single-season saves list.
Cadel's 10 first-half saves included no fewer than eight saves within the first 24 minutes of the match.
McMahon led all players with five total shots and four shots on goal Friday night. Her lone shot that was not on target was a header that glanced off the goalpost in the fourth minute of the contest. That header, off of a diagonal ball by a UB teammate, eventually went out of bounds for a BGSU goal kick.
The Falcons responded almost immediately after that UB chance, as BG senior Madeline Wideman took a pass from classmate Kaitlyn Tobin and made a long run downfield. Wideman hit a shot from distance, but the ball sailed high.
Cadel stopped a shot by the Bulls' Kassidy Kidd with 6:05 gone, then scooped up a soft shot by McMahon exactly one minute later for her fourth save of the match.
In the 14th minute, Cadel parried a hard-hit ball from a bad angle off the boot of McMahon, and a BG defender dealt with the rebound, knocking the ball off of a Buffalo attacker and out of bounds.
Midway through the half, Falcon sophomore Haley Parkinson won a corner kick, and that kick found the head of freshman Haley Malaczewski in the box, Malaczewski's effort, however, went wide left.
With eight minutes left in the period, the Falcons played a ball forward, and UB 'keeper Ainsley Wheldon came off of her line in an attempt to grab it in traffic. Wheldon's initial effort was unsuccessful, and Wideman tracked the ball down and hit a quick shot from the top of the box. But, Wheldon was able to recover in time to make the save.
Cadel made a diving stop of a low shot by Katie Roberts moments later, and the Falcons then had arguably the best chance of the night.
With under six minutes remaining before halftime, Malaczewski and Wideman applied pressure to the Bulls in the Buffalo end of the field. Wideman came up with a steal and hit a cross from the right sideline. That cross found senior Ivi Casagrande in the center of the field. Casagrande settled the ball, took a touch to gain some space and hit a rocket toward net. Wheldon had no chance to make the save, but the ball ricocheted off of the crossbar and back out of the penalty area.
After combining for 20 shots in the first period, the Falcons and Bulls combined for just six in the second period. The Bulls had a good chance in the early moments of the half, as Jackie Hall took a centering pass from a teammate, but Hall's shot went wide left.
Less than a minute later, however, the home team got on the scoreboard. Hall was on the opposite end of the pass this time, playing a ball to McMahon, who scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season from the center of the box. In the 55th minute of play, the home team had the lead.
UB looked to add to the lead with 18 minutes to go, after the Falcons failed to successfully deal with a long Buffalo ball ahead. Celina Carrero slipped past a BG defender and fired a shot, but put it wide of the net.
As the clock wound down, the Falcons had a pair of corner kicks in an attempt to tie the score. A long BG turnaround shot attempt was blocked out of play, and freshman Taylor Bucaro took the ensuing corner. The ball was knocked back out toward Bucaro, who won the visitors another corner by playing the ball off of a UB defender with under 90 seconds remaining.
That second corner kick went to the far side of the box, where a Falcon player hit a ball back into the center. Wheldon grabbed that ball in the air, however, as she collided with a BG player, and the Bulls were able to salt away the win from there.
Buffalo had a 22-4 advantage in shots on the night, and a narrow 5-3 edge in corner kicks. Wheldon made one save in goal for the home side.
The Falcons remain on the road as the team's weekend swing concludes with a Sunday (Oct. 20) match at Akron. That game begins at noon at the Zips' FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field.