A rematch of the 2018 MAC Tournament Championship is set to take place tonight as the BGSU women’s soccer team is set to take on Ball State under the lights at Cochrane Stadium.
BGSU women’s soccer is trying to accomplish something no other school has done before, win three-straight regular season championships and three tournament championships in the same season.
On the other side, Ball State is trying to win their first ever MAC Tournament Championship. The Cardinals have appeared in the Tournament twice, but have come up short both times including the 2018 loss to the Falcons in penalty kicks.
BGSU won the East Division with a record of 5-1, posting the most points per match which gave them the right to host the MAC Championship. All five of the Falcons victory’s this season came as shutouts.
Ball State enters the MAC Championship having won the West Division at a record of 6-2-1 after defeating Eastern Michigan in the regular season finale. The Cardinals biggest struggle this season was the Western Michigan Broncos to whom they lost one match and tied in the other.
The two teams account for nine players between them on this year's MAC Awards List.
BGSU- Nikki Cox and Madi Wolfbauer
BSU- Lexy Smith and Nicky Potts
BGSU- Audrey Shea, Jasmijn Dijsselhof, and Lili Berg
BSU- Tatiana Mason
BSU- Mac Henson
Along with the player awards, Ball State’s Josh Rife was named Coach of the Year in just his second season with the Cardinals.
With the new two division format created by the Mid-American Conference at the beginning of the season, this will be the first time that the two teams playing for the tournament title will not have played in the regular season. This means that both teams have only been able to watch film of their opponent and never actually took the field against the other this season.
Here are some things to watch for throughout the course of tonight’s Championship match.
For Ball State, Tatiana Mason leads the team in goals this season. Mason, a very explosive forward for the Cardinals has had strong success throughout the entirety of her career as a Cardinal. The Ball State forward trio will match up nicely with the Falcons defensive line which should create a constant battle all match.
For Bowling Green, Nikki Cox found her stride late in the season in a home match against Kent State before missing the season finale at Ohio. Cox finds her name on multiple top 10 lists for BGSU women’s soccer career records. She will be a vital part of the Falcons success when building out of the midfield.
Nikhita Jacob, the 2019 Tournament MVP, will have to miss tonight’s match after undergoing surgery on her knee before this season began, she talked about the Falcons approach to the Tournament Championship.
“After being here a couple of years in a row, it almost feels as if this is expected of us. I wish that I could be out on the field, but I have a lot of confidence in this group of girls,” she said.
It will all culminate tonight, to see who will win the MAC Title and advance to the NCAA Tournament in North Carolina via an automatic bid. General Admission to the match will be available on a first come, first serve. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. EST and can be viewed on Youtube via a stream from WBGU-TV.