Falcons zap Zips, 4-0, behind White’s hat trick

AKRON, Ohio – Kennedy White’s first career hat trick propelled the Bowling Green State University women’s soccer team to a 4-0 win over the University of Akron Thursday in Mid-American Conference action at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Maya Dean also scored for the Falcons (4-4-3, 2-1-2 MAC), who netted a pair of goals in each half in the road victory.

White recorded both first-half goals, which came just under seven minutes apart. Then, after Dean found the back of the net less than three minutes into the second half, White completed the hat trick with a goal just over four minutes later.

Lili Berg made five saves in goal en route to the shutout win. For the Zips (1-7-2, 0-5-0 MAC), Penelope Cuirinier made nine saves before giving way to Maxima Carlitz in the game’s 67th minute. Carlitz did not face a shot on goal in her 23-minute relief stint.

White recorded her first collegiate hat trick. It was her fourth multiple-goal match as a Falcon, with all four coming this season.White’s hat trick was the first by a BGSU player in nearly four ye ars, since Erica Hubert scored three times as the Falcons beat Buffalo, 5-0, on Oct. 21, 2018.

BGSU is now 16-1-1 in the last 18 MAC road games, dating to late in the 2018 season. In those 18 matches, the Falcons have outscored the opponents, 50-10.

The Falcons got on the board at the 24:29 mark. Maya Dean, stationed just outside the penalty area on the left side, played a ball to Brynn Gardner. Gardner sent a gorgeous cross into the box from the left sideline, and White rose above several defenders to head the ball into the far side of the net.

White netted her second goal of the night with 31:23 gone. After another Gardner cross sailed into the box, an Akron defender looked to clear the ball away, but was unable to do so. White stole the ball near the six-yard line and fired a shot past UA ‘keeper Penelope Cuirinier.

Dean blasted home the Falcons’ third goal with just 2:28 gone in the second half. Katie Cox slid a pass to Makenzie Ortman, who in turn played a short ball to Dean. Dean took a touch and then, from outside the 18-yard box, lasted a shot into the upper half of the net.

White concluded the scoring with 51:48 gone. Abby Koly received a pass on the right side of the penalty area, then played a ball to White in the center of the box. White made a nifty turn as she received the pass, whirling away from her would-be defender and firing a left-footed shot past Cuirinier for her third goal of the night.

BGSU had lopsided advantages in total shot attempts (23-7) and shots on goal (14-5), and the Falcons also had a 6-3 lead in corner kicks.

White now has 11 goals this season. White, who had 10 goals as a freshman in 2019, is just the third player in BGSU history with multiple seasons of double-digit goals. BGSU Hall-of-Famer Kristy Coppes scored 10 or more goals in all four of her years as a Falcon, while Erica Hubert, like White, had a double-digit goal total in two seasons.

White now has 26 career goals, and has moved past former teammate Nikki Cox (24 goals from 2018-21) into fifth place on that BGSU career list.

White also moved up on the BGSU list for career points. She now has 59 points to rank ninth in school history. White passed Julie Trundle (57 points from 2002-05) with her six points on Thursday.

White scored her ninth career game-winning goal, tying her for second on that school list. Coppes holds the record with 14 career GWG, while Nikki Cox and Corbie Yee (2005-08) each had nine.

White has eight goals in the Falcons’ five MAC matches this season. She has scored six goals in BGSU’s three Thursday games vs. league foes.

Gardner picked up her team-leading fifth assist of the season, with the primary helper on White’s first goal of the night. Gardner, a freshman, now has nine points on the year.

Dean had a three-point night, with a goal and an assist. She has been involved in the scoring of four of BGSU’s last six goals, as she had two assists in the Falcons’ 2-0 win at Central Michigan Sept. 29.

Dean now has five points this season and 10 in her BGSU career.

Cox recorded her first assist of the season. She now has three points this fall and 19 (seven goals, five assists) in her career.

Koly picked up her first career point, with the primary assist on White’s third goal of the night.

With an assist on Dean’s goal, Ortman had her first point of the season. She now has five career points on a goal and three assists.

Lili Berg kept her third clean sheet of the season. Berg has been part of 20 shutouts in her 40 career matches, and she lowered her career goals-against average to 0.97.

BGSU now has an overall record of 62-30-14 since the start of the 2017 season. And, since the beginning of the 2018 campaign, the Falcons are 49-23-13.

Since the start of 2017, BGSU is now 41-10-4 in MAC regular-season matches and 50-11-6 in all matches (regular-season and tournament) vs. MAC foes.

The Falcons return home for a Sunday matchup with MAC preseason favorite Ohio University. That contest begins at 1 p.m. at Cochrane Stadium, and admission is free.