For the third straight season the Bowling Green women’s soccer team will be playing for the Mid-American
Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament.
The Falcons, now 14-5-2 overall, slipped past Buffalo, 2-1, Friday afternoon to advance to the MAC
tournament title game. That match is Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cochrane Stadium against Eastern Michigan.
“Honestly it’s a blessing to be able to go three years in a row,” BG senior Chelsee Washington said.
“It’s just a result of all the hard work we have been doing over the past three years.
“The values and the principles he has instilled in this program, it’s just a matter of us carrying that
out each and every day,” Washington added about head coach Matt Fannon, who has won the MAC coach of the
year award in each of his three seasons at BG.
Bowling Green lost in overtime in the 2017 title game and won last year on penalty kicks to advance.
With 17:23 remaining in the first half, the Falcons converted on a penalty kick. Washington, who was
named the MAC offensive player of the year for the third straight time earlier this week, beat Buffalo
goalkeeper Emily Kelly for a 1-0 lead. It was Washington’s seventh goal of the season.
“It’s always good as a penalty kicker to see the keeper go the other way. It’s a guessing game honestly,”
Six minutes and 40 seconds after Washington’s goal, Katie Cox scored her second goal of the season to
give the Falcons a 2-0 lead. Cox, a freshman, scored her first goal in the season opener.
“It’s been a process all year,” Cox said. “I have been working towards this for the last couple of
“I’m really excited that I got to put one back in today.”
On the Cox goal, Washington made a good run and then made a nice pass to Sarah Allen. Allen found Cox for
the goal. It was Washington’s ninth assist and Allen’s fourth of the season.
“We came out strong. We always want to start off a game strong like that,” Washington said. “It was just
a matter of us just putting up a fight in the second half and we pulled out the win.”
The Falcons had 11 shots in the opening half, but could score only twice.
“To be honest with you, we missed a bunch of chances especially in the first half,” Fannon said. “Once we
got going into the run of things, I think we really dominated and we really should have had more goals.”
The Bulls, who finish the season 9-8-3 overall, changed some things in the second half, but got only two
shots. Kelly finished with seven saves for the Bulls four in the second half.
“I think they did almost everything differently and did it really well,” Fannon said about Buffalo’s
second half play. “They changed systems…they moved a bunch of players around.
“Ultimately we were really happy to beat them,” he added.
With 20:14 remaining in the game, the Falcons were called for a foul in the box giving the Bulls a
penalty kick. Marcy Barberic’s shot beat Kathleen Duwve to make it 2-1. Duwve made all three of her
saves for the game in the first half.
“We didn’t feel like we were under a lot of pressure throughout the game. We didn’t feel like we gave up
an incredible amount of chances,” Fannon said. “But we know late in the game, when it’s a one goal game
and it’s always something that can happen.
“The truth of it is we have been through so many different experiences this season that our women have
just risen (their play),” he continued. “We managed the last 10 minutes incredibly well and I felt like
we would be able to do that. Our women have been pretty special.”
Maureen Kennedy, who has been a mainstay on defense for the Falcons, is out for the rest of season with
an torn ACL. A senior, Kennedy suffered the injury in a victory over Toledo on Oct. 31. Earlier this
week Kennedy was named the MAC defensive player of the year for the second straight season.