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2023 MACtion on the Pitch: Week 2

Western Michigan wins again, Bowling Green and Miami join the win column, and some incredible goals highlight week 2 of MAC soccer action.

Bria Telemaque scored the lone goal in a win against Butler
Ashley Huss/Western Michigan Athletics

Welcome back to MACtion on the Pitch, where we take a look at what happened over the course of the week in women’s soccer.

After a big week one, there was a lot of excitement for week two. Let’s take a look back at what transpired:

Akron (1-2-0)

8/24 vs Robert Morris (L)

Akron hosted Robert Morris to open up the home slate of the 2023 campaign. Both teams did not give in during the first 45, and the score was 0-0 at half. Robert Morris only needed 11 minutes and 33 seconds in the second half to break the tie and go up 1-0. Robert Morris would add another goal in the 73rd minute to make it 2-0. It would prove to be a tough day for Akron’s defense as the Colonials went up 3-0 just a little more than three minutes later. That score would hold as Akron could not get the ball in the net.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 vs Dayton
9/3 vs Boston College

Ball State (1-2-0)

8/24 at Texas Tech (L)

The Cardinals traveled to Lubbock for their only contest of the match week. Both teams were stout on defense until the Red Raiders broke the tie in the 20th minute. Texas Tech seemed to keep attacking but low and behold sophomore forward Delaney Caldwell drew the Cardinals even on a shot in the top middle of the goal. The Cardinals and Red Raiders would go back and forth to the halftime break in a 1-1 deadlock. It took almost five minutes in the second half for Texas Tech to go up 2-1. Highlighted by a Texas Tech hat trick, Ball State would not put up another goal and would lose 4-1 to the Big 12 opponent.

Upcoming matches:

9/3 at Loyola Chicago

Bowling Green (1-2-0)

8/24 at Cincinnati (L)
8/27 vs Loyola Chicago (W)

The Falcons made the trek down I-75 to the campus of the University of Cincinnati. It didn’t take long for BG to find themselves down early, as the Bearcats scored in the 2nd minute to go up 1-0 (score would hold after 45). No scoring after the early Cincinnati goal, but BG did put 4 shots on goal throughout the half. Throughout the second half, BG put up eight shots with nothing to show for them. After a hard fought 90 minutes, Bowling Green would fall to Cincinnati, 1-0.

After some tough matches, the Falcons finally got to open Cochrane Stadium for 2023 with a visit from Loyola Chicago. Bowling Green finally got the start they wanted as sophomore forward Brynn Gardner scored 7:41 into the match. Bowling Green would continue their first half dominance as 5th year senior Katie Cox scores her first of the year to give the Falcons a two goal advantage. Seniors Lacee Bethea and Ellie Pool also tacked on assists in the half. Both teams would end up even on shots with 11 apiece, but Bowling Green would keep the shutout and join the win column for the first time in 2023. Madison Vukas and Lili Berg would combine for the shutout.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 at Detroit Mercy
9/3 at Pittsburgh

Buffalo (2-1-0)

8/24 at Colgate (W)

Buffalo traveled to Colgate University for game three of the 2023 campaign. The Bulls defense was strong in the first half, not allowing a shot from Colgate. The Bulls offense dominated with 3 shots on goal, but could not put one in the back of the net. The score was 0-0 at half. Moving forward to the 56th minute, Buffalo continued their offensive dominance as fifth-year senior midfielder Leah Wengender continued her start to put the Bulls up 1-0. The Bulls defense remained hard to crack as they allowed their first show just past 76 minutes, and only two shots all game. The Bulls moved to 2-1 on the season with freshman goalkeeper Lexie Thompson’s first shutout.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 at Canisius
9/3 at Niagara

Central Michigan (0-0-2)

8/27 vs Wright State (D)

The Chippewas opened their home schedule with a visit from the Raiders of Wright State. Central was very aggressive on the offensive front in the first half, outshooting the Raiders 14-3 in the first half. While they had the shots, Central Michigan could not put one in the net, and would go into half at 0-0. Central Michigan would outshoot the Raiders in the second half as well, 10-4. But once again, nine total shots on goal would not see one go in the net, and the game would end in a 0-0 draw. Redshirt Junior goalkeeper Allison LaPoint played all 90, and kept the clean sheet.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 at Cincinnati
9/3 at Louisville

Eastern Michigan (0-2-2)

8/25 at Dartmouth (D)
8/27 at Northeastern (L)

The Eagles flew to New Hampshire to take on Ivy League competition in the Big Green. Both teams would go back and forth, with no one breaking through on the score sheet. The score was 0-0 at half. It was much more of the same game until the 68th minute when Dartmouth broke through to go up 1-0. Eastern dug deep and found the equalizer from sophomore forward Arielle Fink. Dartmouth would break through again in the 82nd minute to go up 2-1. It was back and forth scoring as junior Meagan Lukowski scored her second of the year in the 84th minute. Everyone would finally be able to breathe as the game finished in a 2-2 draw.

The Eagles then traveled to Boston to take on Northeastern. EMU held firm for 42 minutes until the 42:16 mark when the Huskies broke the ice to take the halftime lead at 1-0. Northeastern came out of the break leading shots four to one, adding a second goal on the fifth shot to go up 2-0. Northwestern would add a third goal with their 10th shot on goal, to increase the deficit to three. Eastern would eventually get on the board in the 83rd minute with freshman forward Olivia Sipsock getting her first collegiate goal. Freshman Kate Robinson notched her second assist of the season as well. The final score of 3-1, with a significant disadvantage on shots, would see Eastern lose their second contest of the year.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 at Michigan State
9/3 at Eastern Kentucky

Kent State (2-1-1)

8/24 vs. Pittsburgh (L)
8/27 at Cleveland State (W)

The Flashes welcomed the Pittsburgh Panthers to Dix Stadium in a rematch of the contest last year. Kent State fell to the Panthers 7-0. Could they put up a fight? It took the Panthers just a little over nine minutes to go up 1-0 after dominating possession in the midfield. Despite the Panthers having nine corner kicks in the first half, and Pitt having a majority of possession, Kent managed to keep the deficit 1-0 at the break. Kent finally gave the Pitt keeper another test in the 73rd minute, but couldn’t get the ball in. Pitt had a chance to ice the game in the 87th minute, but airmailed the shot. Despite grad student Sarah Melén’s incredible 10-save game, Pitt would come away with the 1-0 victory after a flurry of late Kent State chances.

Kent would travel up to Cleveland State on Sunday. The Golden Flashes only needed 5:16 to put the ball in the net with junior midfielder Siena Stambolich scoring her first of the year. Cleveland State would have more shots throughout the first half, but Kent stood strong to go into the half up 1-0. Kent scored their second goal in the 53rd minute with Alanna Raimondo getting her first of the year. Freshman Josie Morgan would notch the assist on Raimondo’s goal. That score would hold, and Kent State would win number two.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 at Arizona
9/3 at Arizona State

Miami (1-2-1)

8/24 at Northern Kentucky (L)
8/27 vs. UIC (W)

Junior Makenna Morrison would score the game winner against Illinois-Chicago
Brian Mack/Miami Athletics

Miami took a small trip over the Ohio River to Highland Heights, KY. As was a common theme with a couple of games on Thursday, the opponent needed less than 10 minutes to score. Northern Kentucky only needed 8:20 to get on the board, while Miami struggled to get shots on goal, let alone shots in general. They had one shot on goal, and were down 1-0 at halftime. Despite Miami’s eight corner kicks, they only had five shots the entire game. The score would remain 1-0, and Miami would accumulate their second loss of the year.

Miami would take on Illinois-Chicago with an offensive struggle in the back of their mind. After a back and forth first 25 minutes, Miami found the back of the net as junior midfielder Makenna Morrison scored her first, and Miami’s first, ending a 295 minute and 1 second scoreless streak to start the year. Freshman forward Haley Anspach would tack on the assist. Miami held UIC to two total shots in the first half, and went into the break with the lead at 1-0. Miami would continue to just add on shots throughout the second half. Miami’s defense held the score at 1-0 all the way to the final whistle, and the RedHawks joined the win column for the first time in 2023.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 vs Southern Indiana

Northern Illinois (2-1-1)

8/24 vs. Eastern Illinois (W)
8/27 vs. Oakland (D)

Freshman forward Tyra King (#5) celebrates her first collegiate goal in a 3-0 shutout of Eastern Illinois
Scott Walstrom/NIU Athletics

NIU opened their home slate against the Panthers of Eastern Illinois. The Huskies had three shots to one shot for Eastern Illinois. NIU won a free kick on the near edge of the 18-yard box, and junior defender Lea Gruennagel scored a great free kick with the Panther keeper unable to get a hand on it. NIU would be up 1-0 at half. Fast forward to the 63rd minute, a great solo effort from sophomore Amber Best led to an easy tap-in for freshman Tyra King’s first collegiate goal to go up 2-0. Freshman Isabel Struble added her second goal of the year to make the final score 3-0.

NIU would welcome Oakland for game four of the campaign. The Huskies dominated the first half with seven shots, but were only able to put one shot on goal. The defense did not allow a single shot from Oakland, to help keep the score at 0-0. NIU only added three more shots, and Oakland had their only shot of the game, in the second half. NIU could not put the game away, and would walk away with a 0-0 draw.

Upcoming matches:

9/3 at Indiana

Ohio (2-0-1)

8/24 vs. Cleveland State (W)
8/27 at Navy (D)

Game number two saw the Bobcats take on Cleveland State. This was yet another game of one team overpowering the other but not much scoring. It was 0-0 at half with Ohio leading in shots 9-3. Fast forward to the 79th minute, senior Izzi Boyd slots her second goal of the year in the top left of the goal to put the Bobcats up 1-0. Cleveland State would put up a fight in the last few minutes, but it was not enough as Ohio moved to 2-0 on the year. Celeste Sloma put up another shutout to make it two on the year.

Ohio would travel to Annapolis to take on the Naval Academy. Ohio scored first, as sophomore forward Scout Murray scored her second of the year, with an assist from Izzi Boyd. Ohio would take that 1-0 lead into the half, with shots going in Ohio’s favor, 8-5. Ohio would not continue their shutout streak as Navy only needed one minute in the second half to draw level. Ohio outshot Navy 11-5 in the second half, but couldn’t put one in the goal. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Upcoming matches:

8/31 at Marshall
9/3 vs Northern Kentucky

Toledo (0-2-1)

8/25 vs Loyola Chicago (L)
8/27 vs Northwestern (L)

Senior midfielder Emily Mann (#25) scored the equalizer in a 2-1 loss to Loyola Chicago
Katie Manger/Toledo Athletics

The Rockets welcomed the Ramblers to Paul Hotmer Field to open the home schedule. Here we have another case of the opponent scoring within the first 10 minutes, as the Ramblers opened up just 9:40 in. Toledo got their first shot off past the 17-minute mark, but wouldn’t get a shot on goal until the 40th minute. The Ramblers remained in the lead going into the break. Toledo only needed 1:08 to become level as senior Emily Mann scored her first of the year. In the 74th minute, Loyola Chicago would break the deadlock again to go up 2-1. Despite Toledo’s valiant effort, the Rockets were outshot 15-6, and walked away with their first loss on the year.

Toledo then welcomed Big Ten opponent Northwestern to Paul Hotmer Field on Sunday. Toledo held strong for 40 minutes keeping the game scoreless. Northwestern found two goals in less than three minutes to go up 2-0 at the break. Northwestern added a third in the 55th minute to make it 3-0. Toledo earned a penalty kick, and redshirt senior Madison Medalle would slot it home for her third of the year. A 26-9 shot disadvantage would hinder Toledo, and they would lose 3-1.

Upcoming matches:

9/3 at Detroit Mercy

Junior Lauren Boafo celebrates a shutout over Butler
Ashley Huss/Western Michigan Athletics

Western Michigan (3-0-0)

8/27 vs Butler (W)

The Broncos welcomed the Butler Bulldogs to their home on Sunday. Western Michigan dominated the first 45, putting five shots on goal in the first 41 minutes. Western finally broke through in the 42 minute with fifth-year transfer midfielder Bria Telemaque scoring her first of the year, scoring on a phenomenal solo effort from an interception. Western went into the break leading 1-0, allowing no Butler shots. Stout defense helped the Broncos keep the score 1-0 through the full 90, and remain undefeated in 2023. Junior goalkeeper Lauren Boafo notched the clean sheet.

Upcoming matches:

9/3 vs Wisconsin

MAC Players of the Week

Offensive Player of the Week

Izzi Boyd, Senior Midfielder, Ohio

Boyd earns the honor for Week 2, notching the game-winning goal against Cleveland State, and assisting in Ohio’s lone goal in a draw against Navy.

Defensive Player of the Week

Sarah Melén, Graduate Goalkeeper, Kent State

Melén earns the defensive honor for Week 2. She held nationally-ranked Pittsburgh to one goal with an incredible 10-save effort. She also kept a clean sheet at Cleveland State.

Goals of the Week

Welcome to a new section of the recap where we select a goal, or goals, of the week. There were four contenders for this week, and they all were too good not to share.

Our first goal of the week goes to Western’s Bria Telemaque for her incredible interception and solo effort in the win against Butler (Credit: WMU Women’s Soccer/X).

Another goal of the week goes to Ohio’s Izzi Boyd. Boyd scored an incredible game winner from outside the 18 yard box against Cleveland State (Credit: Ohio Women’s Soccer/X).

Our next goal of the week goes to Bowling Green’s Katie Cox. She’s no stranger to great goals, and this one did not disappoint. (Credit: BGSU Women’s Soccer/X)

Our final goal of the week is a banger. NIU’s Lea Gruennagel curls in a free kick to the far side of the goal, and the keeper had no chance of stopping it. (Credit: NIU Women’s Soccer/Instagram)