Bowling Green State Women's Soccer Camps
Cian McDonald begins his fourth year as a member of the Bowling Green State University women's soccer coaching staff in 2018. He joined the program as a volunteer assistant coach in 2015 and was promoted to a full-time assistant coach in June 2016.
McDonald was retained in 2017 as an assistant to new head coach Matt Fannon and helped lead a women's soccer renaissance at BGSU. The Falcons posted a 13-7-1 record and won six MAC contests in 2017, the most overall wins and MAC wins for the Falcons since 2008. The team won its season opener at Oakland 5-1 and had unbeaten streaks of three and five games during the middle of the schedule. The Falcons won an October contest at MAC regular season champion Kent State and qualified for its first MAC Tournament in nine years. BGSU earned a comeback victory at home in the quarterfinal against Buffalo, then topped #1 Kent State on the road in the semifinals. In their first championship game appearance since 2007, the team fell in overtime.
With Fannon, McDonald helped develop an aggressive playing style on both ends of the pitch that led to some of the best offensive and defensive statistics in team history. BGSU led the MAC in goals and assists; the 43 goals were a school record, and the 49 assists ranked eighth nationally. On defense, the team set school records for shots and shots on goal allowed and posted the second-best opponent scoring average in team history. His coaching helped BGSU players achieve MAC Offensive Player of the Year, All-MAC (5), USC All-Midwest Region (Fleak), and OCSA All-Ohio (4).
In his first season on the BGSU women’s soccer staff in 2015, the Falcons posted seven overall wins on the year, which is more than the previous two years combined, and finished tied for eighth overall in the Mid-American Conference, improving from 10th-place in 2014 and 12th place in 2013.
The Falcons registered a number of key wins in 2015. Bowling Green snapped two series' losing streaks in 2015, recording its first wins over Buffalo, the 2014 MAC Champions, and conference foe Eastern Michigan since 2011. BGSU’s victory at home on Aug. 21 against Chicago State was the team's first win in a season opener since 2004. The Orange and Brown also had a record-setting crowd of 803 at the season opener against Chicago State.
BGSU notched 29 goals in 2015, more than the last two seasons combined, after scoring 15 in 2014 and nine in 2013. The 29 goals scored is the most in a single season since 2008 (38). The Falcons’ 28 assists on the years is more than the previous two years combined (21).
The Falcons also scored 12 goals in MAC play in 2015, the most conference goals since 2010 when the team scored 16, and only allowed 30 goals overall, which is the least allowed since 2009 (28).
The Falcons finished with 18 home goals, the most since 2008, while BGSU netted a goal in seven straight contests, spanning from Aug. 21 against Chicago State to Sept. 13 against Valparaiso, for the first time since that same 2008 season.
McDonald came to BGSU after playing for four years on the pitch at Northern Kentucky University under head coach John Basalyga.
For the Norse, McDonald played in 69 games, starting in 57 contests, including all 20 games as a senior in 2014. Originally from Ireland, McDonald totaled 10 goals and 10 assists over his four-year career at NKU. After battling back from an injury filled season as a junior in 2013, McDonald led the team with five goals and four assists in 2014 as a senior where he was named to the All-Atlantic Sun Second-Team. He also earned a spot on the 2014 Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team and the Dayton Flyer Classic All-Tournament Team in his final season for the Norse.
Prior to his time as an intercollegiate student-athlete at Northern Kentucky, McDonald was a 2011 graduate of Templeogue College in Dublin, Ireland. He was also a key member of the Shelbourne FC U-17 team.
Dan Ball begins his first season on the Bowling Green State University women's soccer staff. Ball, a native of Chatham, England, was hired in June of 2018 and will serve as the Falcons' goalkeeper coach.
Ball joined head coach Matt Fannon's staff after spending the previous two seasons at Concordia University in Seward, Neb. He served as graduate assistant goalkeeper coach for both the men's and women's program. Those two teams went a combined 57-18-8 over the last two seasons, as the men's team was 27-10-3 overall and 13-5 in Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) play under head coach Jason Weides, while Greg Henson's women's program went 30-8-5 overall and 16-3-1 in the league in that span.
"We are very excited to have Balley join our team," said Fannon. "As a young goalkeeper coach he has already shown great success and growth in his abilities and will immediately challenge our 'keepers to improve. He is smart, ambitious and a winner, so will fit in well and help us all to grow. He is the perfect addition to our staff."
At Concordia, Ball helped sophomore 'keeper Lindsey Carley earn GPAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades along with first-team all-league and all-region honors as the Bulldogs won the league title with a 9-0-1 record. During Ball's two seasons at the school, a total of four different goalkeepers in the two programs earned all-conference honors.
The women's program captured the 2017 league regular-season title after winning the conference tournament the previous year. The '17 women's team set program records for fewest goals conceded and most clean sheets. The coaching staff was named United Soccer Plains Region College Staff of the Year last fall.
The men's team set a school single-season record for wins last year, going 16-3-1. Goalkeeper Jack Bennett, one of those four 'keepers to earn All-GPAC honors during Ball's tenure, ranked in the top 20 among all NAIA goalkeepers in goals-against average a year ago.
"I couldn't be more excited to start at BGSU," said Ball. "The opportunity to coach and be challenged at the Division-I level is one I'm incredibly grateful for. Coach Fannon has done great things in his short time at BG and the staff is young and hungry for success, as is our team. Both Matt and (assistant coach) Cian (McDonald) have been incredible in welcoming me and I'm looking forward to learning from them both."
A graduate of Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn., Ball served as an assistant women's soccer coach at his alma mater from July of 2015 to May of 2016. He worked closely with the team's goalkeepers with the Buffaloes, and under his tutelage, junior 'keeper Charlotte Stephens earned all-conference honors.
Off the pitch, Ball served as International Student Liaison at Milligan, a position he proposed and created which was focused on improving the international student experience. He oversaw 43 international students and was the principle point of contact in the assimilation of international students.
Ball was a four-year starter during his undergraduate career at Milligan, helping the Buffaloes to two Appalachian Athletic Conference titles while earning all-conference recognition in each of his last three seasons. Ball was a two-time team captain for the program.
Ball earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in English at Milligan. He received a Master's in Business Administration from Concordia in May of 2018.