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2023 MACtion on the Pitch: Week 5

It was the last week of non-conference soccer before our beloved #MACtion starts up.

Toledo celebrates Brooklyn Whitehead’s goal in a dominating 4-0 victory over Chicago State
Jacob Tracy/Toledo 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.

Week five was a light week, with seven teams finishing out their non-conference slate. How would the teams fare? Let’s take a look:

Akron (2-5-0)

9/14 at Niagara (W)

Akron would travel to face the Purple Eagles for their final non-conference matchup. This match would feature two teams that are in some less than ideal losing streaks. The Zips have lost five in a row, and the Purple Eagles have lost four in a row. Akron would hold a 12-6 shot advantage, but the halftime score would remain 0-0. Akron would take the lead in the 71st minute on a goal from Emma King. Akron would hold on and break their five-game losing streak, gaining momentum for #MACtion, and end non-conference action at 2-5-0.

Ball State (2-5-0)

9/14 at Butler (L)

Ball State made the short trip to face the Butler Bulldogs for their final game before #MACtion. Butler only needed five minutes to go up 1-0. Butler would continue to dominate on the offensive end, and add a second goal with 29 seconds left to make the halftime score 2-0 in favor of the Bulldogs. Butler would add a third goal just past the hour mark. It would go further downhill for the Cardinals as Butler would add a fourth. Ball State would lose 4-0, and finished non-conference action at 2-5-0.

Buffalo (3-1-3)

9/16 at Connecticut (D)

Buffalo would travel to Storrs, CT to take on the Huskies for their final non-conference game. Neither team would gain an advantage until the 28th minute when UConn would find the net for the 1-0 lead, and that score would hold at half. The Huskies held an 8-3 shot advantage in the first half. Buffalo would find the net in the 60th minute to equalize. Leah Wengender would score her third of the year, assisted by Katie Krohn. Despite the 14-9 disadvantage in shots for the game, Buffalo would hold on for the 1-1 draw. The Bulls finished non-conference at 3-1-3.

Miami (3-4-1)

9/14 at Montana (L)

Miami would make the long trek to Missoula to take on Montana in their final non-conference matchup. Montana would get on the board first almost 13 minutes in. The score would be 1-0 at half, with Montana holding a slim 7-6 advantage on shots. Miami would concede a penalty, and Montana took advantage to go up 2-0 in the 59th minute. Montana would add a third just past the 70 minute mark. It would keep going downhill as the Grizzlies would add a fourth in the 78th minute. The final would be 4-0 in favor of Montana, and the Redhawks finished non-conference play at 3-4-1.

Northern Illinois (2-3-2)

9/14 vs DePaul (L)

NIU would welcome the Blue Demons for their final non-conference tune up. DePaul would go up 1-0 on an NIU own goal from an unlucky error in the 29th minute. NIU would hold a 4-0 shot advantage at half, but would stay down 1-0. Throughout an uneventful second half, DePaul would not register a shot until the 78th minute. The score would hold until that final whistle, and DePaul would head back to Chicago with a win in which they would not register a single shot on goal. NIU finished non-conference action at 2-3-2.

Abby McHugh plays a ball in NIU’s 1-0 loss to DePaul
NIU Athletics

Toledo (3-3-1)

9/17 vs Chicago State (W)

Brooklyn Whitehead poked a shot past the Chicago State keeper
Jacob Tracy/Toledo Athletics

Toledo welcomed Chicago State to Paul Hotmer Field for their last non-conference tune up before MAC play. Toledo would strike first in the 32nd minute on a goal by Brooklyn Whitehead, assisted by Olivia Dault. That 1-0 score would hold at half, and Toledo held a 8-1 shot advantage. The second half would be all Toledo. Alli Macbeth would score Toledo’s second of the day in the 51st minute. Madison Medalle would score off a free kick outside of the box in the 63rd minute. Alexys Ladue would score her first collegiate goal, and Toledo’s fourth of the day in the 83rd minute. The Rockets would win 4-0, and held a 21-2 shot advantage. Brielle Young played all 90 minutes, and kept the clean sheet. Toledo finished non-conference action at 3-3-1.

Western Michigan (4-3-0)

9/14 at Marquette (L)

The Broncos would travel to Milwaukee to take on Marquette. Western found the score sheet in the 27th minute. Jen Blitchok would score the opener. Abby Werthman added the assist. That 1-0 score would hold, with the Broncos having a 6-3 shot advantage. Marquette would find the equalizer in the 54th minute. Things would hold for a while until Western Michigan would concede a late penalty in the 89th minute. Marquette would convert, and the Broncos would lose a heartbreaker 2-1. Western Michigan goes into conference play at 4-3-0 in non-conference action.

MAC Players of the Week

Offensive Player of the Week

Emma King, sophomore forward, Akron

Emma King is proving to be one of Akron’s most valuable players. Scoring the game winner against Niagara, the Akron native leads the Zips in goals, points, shots, and shots on goal.

Defensive Player of the Week

Sara Bower, freshman goalkeeper, Akron

The Cincinnati native kept the clean sheet against Niagara with five saves. Bower has 24 saves on the year, putting in lots of work right in front of goal.

Goal(s) of the Week

Our goals of the week go to the University of Toledo. Brooklyn Whitehead, Alli Macbeth, Madison Medalle, and Alexys Ladue all scored to help Toledo end non-conference action on a high note. (Credit: Toledo Soccer/X)

Upcoming Schedule

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve made it to MACtion! Everyone starts at square one on on Thursday. Buckle up, it’s going to be one heck of a ride!

Here is the schedule for week one of conference play (All Times ET):

Thursday, September 21st

Northern Illinois at Western Michigan, 4:00 p.m.
Kent State at Ohio, 4:00 p.m.
Miami at Ball State, 4:00 p.m.
Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan, 7:00 p.m.
Buffalo at Akron, 7:00 p.m.
Bowling Green at Toledo, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 24th

Central Michigan at Miami, 1:00 p.m.
Western Michigan at Bowling Green, 1:00 p.m.
Ohio at Buffalo, 1:00 p.m.
Ball State at Eastern Michigan, 1:00 p.m.
Akron at Kent State, 1:00 p.m.
Toledo at Northern Illinois, 2:00 p.m.