BGSU men's soccer defeated Northern Illinois 2-1 Sunday afternoon in their final regular season game of the season. The win clinched a MAC title for the Falcons a subsequent NCAA tournament berth, their first since 1997.
“It feels like forever that we’ve been chasing this,” BGSU head coach Eric Nichols said after the game. “The MAC Championship is no joke … we earned it. We went to some tough places, we got wins.”
The scoring started off early for the Falcons as Chris Sullivan found the back of the net for the Falcons 20 minutes into the game to give them a 1-0 lead.
Neither team added any more goals and the game went into halftime with BGSU ahead 1-0.
The Huskies came out of the break firing though, as Irvin Dominquez tied the game at one less than two minutes into the second half.
The rest of the half, ended much like the end of the first half did, with both teams making attacks, but neither able to break through and find the back of the net.
In overtime, just one goal by either team would end the game and it would take BGSU's Nathan Masters getting fouled in the penalty box to give the Falcons their golden opportunity.
Achille Robin stepped up to the penalty spot, and drilled a shot into the right side of the goal, giving the Falcons their first NCAA Tournament berth in 23 years.
“I scored it for my whole entire team and my teammates. We deserve it, we worked hard for that moment. That was me but it could have been anyone on the team,” Robin said of the game winning goal.
The huge win comes just one day after the women's soccer team defeated Ball State by the same score in the MAC Championship game to send them to the NCAA Tournament as well.
The win marks the sixth championship for BGSU athletics this season as women's basketball won the regular season MAC title, volleyball won both the regular season and tournament titles and women's soccer did the same.
The only other Division I schools that earned an NCAA Tournament bid in volleyball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer this season were Penn State and Washington.
The men’s soccer team will take on Monmouth in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 29. The match will be played at Bryan Park in Greensboro, North Carolina.