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Flynn's Goal Lifts Bowling Green Past NKU

Published: September 13, 2014
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BGSU Athletic Communications) -- Sophomore Pat Flynn scored with just over five minutes left in the second half, giving the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team a 2-1 win over visiting Northern Kentucky University Friday night (Sept. 12). The non-conference match was held at Cochrane Field.

FINAL STATISTICS: HTML | PDF | Box Score (enhanced)
POST-MATCH VIDEOS: Coach Nichols | Macomber | Flynn
VIDEO: NKU Match a Family Affair for Basalyga, Fleak

With the victory, the Falcons improve to 4-1-0 on the year. NKU loses for the first time this season, dropping to 1-1-2.

Freshman Brad Macomber had the first three-point game of his young career, scoring the Falcons' first goal and assisting on Flynn's winner. Senior tri-captain Danny Baraldi had the primary assist on the Flynn goal.

The first half was evenly played, and it looked like the teams might head to the intermission locked in a scoreless draw. But, Macomber pounced on an errant pass by a NKU defender. The pass, intended to be played back to goalkeeper A.J. Fleak, was not hit with enough pace, and Macomber beat the charging Fleak to the ball. The Falcon freshman's one-timer got past Fleak, sailed into the net and gave the home side the lead with just 1:05 left in the period.

The Norse would respond, however, as Caleb Eastham evened the score in the 64th minute. After BGSU could not clear the ball out of danger, Cian McDonald played a diagonal ball to Eastham, stationed at the far post, Eastham's header knotted the match at 1-1 and set the stage for Flynn's heroics.

The winning goal came when Baraldi played a ball to Macomber from the right side. The freshman got the ball to Flynn at the top of the box. Flynn held off an opponent, turned and fired a low shot that glanced off the inside of the left goalpost and into the net. Macomber and Baraldi drew assists on the play, which came at the 84:56 mark.

The Falcons had advantages of 17-12 in total shot attempts and 7-3 in shots on goal. Redshirt sophomore Nick Landsberger made two saves in net for the Falcons, while Fleak had five stops at the other end of the pitch.

The first half did not see a great many grade-A scoring chances at either end, but BGSU had a 9-3 margin in shots. Just under five minutes in, senior Jon Kumher got his head on a corner kick by sophomore Jacob Roth, putting his shot just wide. Two minutes later, the ball came to Flynn, who shot over the bar.

With roughly 15 minutes elapsed, Roth took a free kick from near midfield. The ball was deflected by a defender, sailing into the box near a host of Falcons. Senior Vlad Lekarev made an athletic play, getting a boot on the ball to put a shot on goal, but Fleak was in position to make the stop.

NKU's first shot attempt came with just over 20 minutes gone, as Jacob Cunningham received a long pass, turned and fired a shot from approximately 12 yards out, but Landsberger was in position to make the point-blank save. Both of Landsberger's saves on the night were difficult stops.

A half-hour into the match, the Falcons put together several passes, with Baraldi, Flynn and junior Jake Martin involved in the buildup. Flynn got the ball to Baraldi, but the senior's shot sailed high. Two minutes later, Kumher's free kick resulted in a give-and-go between Flynn and fellow soph Joe Sullivan. The combination play gave Flynn some space to get a shot off, but that shot was stopped by Fleak.

Three minutes remained in the half when Flynn and Baraldi again teamed up to put a pair of passes together. An NKU defender got his boot on the ball, but it somehow found Sullivan on the right side of the six-yard box. Sullivan quickly fired a low shot, but Fleak had cut down the angle and smothered the ball at the near post.

With only 65 seconds left before the break, however, Macomber struck for the game's first goal. The goal was his second of the season, and his second in as many home matches.

The second period saw NKU take three shots before the Falcons could add a shot to their total. Ian O'Reilly's header went wide, an effort by Diego Martinez was blocked, and Eastham put a shot wide of the target after a short pass from Martinez. With 63:42 gone, however, Eastham evened the score, converting that McDonald diagonal ball at the left post.

Midway through the period, Kumher played a long ball forward, and Lekarev chested it down to Flynn. The nation's leading scorer fired a hard shot, but it was just off target, and the match remained tied.

NKU's Rader Massey had a good chance to give his team the lead, as a teammate put him through the BG defense with just under 15 minutes left in the second half. But, Landsberger made a nice save of Massey's effort near the right post.

As the match reached the 80th minute, the scoring chances started to increase for the Falcons, Flynn played a left-side cross through the box, and Baraldi and Macomber each just missed getting a shot off as the ball rolled through.  Moments later, Flynn's hard shot was blocked out of play by Fleak for a corner kick.

Off of that corner, the ball came to Roth on the left side. His 20-yard shot found the target, but Fleak made the save as the clock ticked under 10 minutes to go.

Less than a minute later, Sullivan and Flynn teamed up to work the ball into the NKU end once again. Sullivan's pass found Baraldi, and his long, hard shot went just wide of the left post.

BG's next shot, however, would go just inside that same post, as Flynn picked up his third game-winning goal of the young season. Neither team could put another shot on frame over the remainder of the period, and the Falcons had the win.

BGSU now prepares for a Tuesday (Sept. 16) match on the road against the University of Michigan. That contest is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the U-M Soccer Stadium. The Wolverines battled No. 12 Maryland to a 1-1 draw on Friday night in Ann Arbor. Following the U-M match, the Falcons then return to Cochrane to face Eastern Illinois University (Sept. 19) and nationally-ranked Michigan State University (Sept. 24).



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