As the start of the fall semester approaches, the athletic season is just about underway. Student athletes are back on campus preparing for their respective sports and soon Doyt Perry Stadium, Slater Family Ice Arena and Cochrane Stadium will be filled with doting fans garbed in classic orange and brown apparel. They will most likely have these big games to keep in mind for fall semester sports.
For the first time since 2013, BGSU football will host their season-opening game on Aug. 29 against the Morgan State Bears, and those aforementioned fans will flood the Doyt in hopes of seeing a Bowling Green victory. The Falcons will bring some changes to the lineup as last season’s seniors graduated and former quarterback Jarrett Doege moved after transferring to West Virginia University. Early indications from summer practices peg incoming transfer and sixth-year senior Darius Wade as the possible starter come next Thursday.
BG Football's season opener is just over 1 week away. QB Darius Wade spoke to the media for the first time since arriving to campus. Hear from Wade and Scot Loeffler. pic.twitter.com/UoCiHTHCgS— Chase Bachman (@ChaseBachman) August 20, 2019
The storied I-75 rivalry celebrates its 100th birthday along with the BGSU football program this year, when the Toledo Rockets take the southbound trip to the Doyt. Last year’s edition saw a fairly close matchup until the fourth quarter when the Rockets ran up the score 52-36.
While maybe in the shadow of the women’s team, men’s soccer did have an exciting year last fall semester before it was eventually cut short during the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, losing to the Western Michigan Broncos by a score of 2-0.
That excitement was evident in a 1-1 double-OT tie against Ohio State where Zach Buescher scored with nine seconds left in regulation.
Head coach Eric Nichols and seniors Charlie Maciejewski and Chris Brennan look to return to take over on offense while senior goalkeeper Anthony Mwembia hopes to have a season similar to his freshman year when he made the MAC All-First Team. They have a chance for revenge against Western Michigan in Kalamazoo on Nov. 2. By that time the team could be vying for their tournament position.
The Falcons have been selected as preseason favorites to win the MAC regular season and postseason after accomplishing that very feat last fall semester. It will be a team effort to replace the offensive prowess of Erica Hubert, but seniors Chelsee Washington and Maureen Kennedy will certainly lighten the load for the squad.
Bowling Green will play their 2018 MAC tournament opponents starting on the road with Ohio University on Oct. 6, then Eastern Michigan on Oct. 13. They will play Ball State for the first time on Oct. 20 after defeating them in the MAC Championship game this past season.
Senior Night, Sept. 29, will also serve as dog day at Cochrane Stadium. Come see all the pooches and puppies while cheering on the women who have served the Falcons for four or more years.
Retribution will also be a relevant theme with the hockey team this year at the Slater Family Ice Arena. A successful season was left as a sour taste when the team allowed two goals in under a minute during the WCHA Championship game and eventually fell to Minnesota State Mavericks 3-2 in overtime.
The Mavericks first appear on the Falcon hockey schedule the weekend of Nov. 1-2 in Mankato. This chapter of the rivalry will be filled with intrigue, as the Falcons will need to make up for some key early departures. Juniors Ryan Bednard and Lukas Craggs both elected to make the jump to the professional level.
Perhaps the more emotional games of the year could be against Miami of Ohio. Calendars will be marked and seats will be filled when former Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron returns to the Slater on Dec. 30, however, not before BGSU travels to Oxford for their season opener on Oct. 6.
The biggest story for the Falcons will be the departure of Kallie Seimet. The former libero leaves a major hole in the defensive scheme for Bowling Green after winning back-to-back MAC Player of the Year awards and is now the program’s all-time leader in digs with 2,365. Perhaps the Iacobelli twins in Paulina and Victoria will be the defensive duo to mend that wound.
Two other MAC schools that offer intimidating offensive numbers will also have new head coaches leading the charge. Eastern Michigan University tabbed Darcy Dorton as its new head coach and the University at Buffalo will have Scott Smith at the helm.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles visit the Stroh Center Oct. 19 followed by a trip to Amherst, New York, for the Falcons on Nov. 8 when they take on the UB Bulls.