Bowling Green State Women's Soccer Camps
Head Coach Matt Fannon
Matt Fannon enters his third season as head coach of the Bowling Green State University women's soccer program in 2019, having completely changed the culture of the program in a very short time.
BGSU Director of Athletics Bob Moosbrugger announced the hiring of Fannon on Dec. 26, 2016, and tasked Fannon with reviving a program that had won a total of 35 games in the previous eight seasons (2009-2016).
In his first year at the helm, Fannon not only revived the program and changed the culture of the team; he guided the Falcons to one of the greatest seasons in school history in 2017. Then, Fannon and the Falcons raised the bar even higher in 2018.
Fannon guided BGSU to a 13-7-1 record and a 6-4-1 mark in the MAC in 2017. The team's overall and Mid-American Conference win totals were the highest since 2008, and the 13 overall wins marked the second-highest total in school history. In addition, the Falcons qualified for the MAC Tournament for the first time since that 2008 season. Once in the tournament, the Orange and Brown won a pair of games, including a victory over the number-one seed (Kent State) on the road. BGSU advanced to the MAC Tournament's championship match for the first time since 2007 before falling in overtime.
Not bad. Not bad at all. But, the success of that 2017 season was just a taste of what was to come the following fall.
In 2018, the Falcons put together one of the top seasons in program history. BGSU won both the MAC regular-season and tournament titles, tying the school record for overall wins and shattering the program mark for conference victories.
The 2018 Falcons went 14-5-3 overall and 10-1-0 in MAC regular-season play. BGSU captured the league regular-season crown for the second time in history, and won the league tournament title for the third time ever.
In Fannon's first two years, the Falcons have posted an overall record of 27-12-4 and a league mark of 16-5-1. BGSU is 20-6-2 in all games (regular season and tournament) vs. MAC foes.
Not surprisingly, Fannon was named MAC Coach of the Year in both the 2017 and '18 campaigns.
The Falcons have shattered many, many records during Fannon's first two seasons. BGSU had five players named to the All-MAC First Team and the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association All-Ohio First Team in 2018. That quintet included seniors Morgan Abbitt and Erica Hubert and juniors Kathleen Duwve, Maureen Kennedy and Chelsee Washington.
BG's total of five All-Ohio First-Team selections obliterated the program's previous records. In fact, the Falcons had a total of seven all-state first-team honorees in the first 21 years after the program was established.
Those same five players all were named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region Team. Hubert became the first player in BGSU history to be named to the all-region first team, while the other four Falcons were voted to the second team.
BG had those five all-region team members in 2018 after having a total of four in the first two-plus decades of the program.
In the classroom, still more records fell. BGSU had a school-record 12 student-athletes named to the Academic All-MAC Team in 2018. That number broke the record of 10 Academic All-MAC Team honorees, set in Fannon's first season.
Four of those 12 student-athletes went on to be named MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes, tying for the highest total in the MAC. That group included Duwve, Kennedy, Washington and senior Elisa Baeron.
Three of those Falcons – Duwve, Kennedy and Washington – each were named to the USC Scholar All-Region Team, and Baeron was named an Academic All-American. Baeron was named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Baeron, who earned third-team honors, became just the second CoSIDA Academic All-America selection in program history.
Kennedy and Washington had joined Baeron on the Academic All-District Team, before Baeron went on to earn national honors.
On the pitch, the Falcons rolled through the rest of the conference en route to the 2018 titles.
BGSU broke the school records for most home wins in a season and most consecutive victories at home. The Falcons went 10-1-2 at Cochrane Stadium in 2018, breaking the previous single-season record of eight home victories (8-1-1 in 2008).
The Falcons captured nine-straight matches at Cochrane, breaking the mark of seven set by that 2008 team. The winning streak was snapped in the MAC Tournament's championship match, but BGSU takes an 11-match home unbeaten streak (9-0-2) into the 2019 campaign.
BGSU started the 2018 season with a 1-3-2 record before ending the non-conference portion of the schedule with a dominant 6-0 win over Youngstown State. Then, the Brown and Orange steamrolled their way through the MAC schedule, going 10-1-0. The Falcons won the first eight league matches before falling, 1-0, at Akron. BG outshot the Zips, 25-7, in that match, hitting the crossbar with a pair of shots, but nevertheless saw an overall nine-match win streak come to an end.
The Falcons bounced back in a big way, posting a 5-0 win at Buffalo to clinch the conference regular-season title. Then, BGSU proceeded to end the 2018 season for four consecutive opponents.
The Orange and Brown topped arch-rival Toledo, 2-1, to end the regular season. That result knocked the Rockets out of the MAC Tournament race. BG then dispatched Eastern Michigan and Ohio in the league tourney, before tying Ball State, 1-1, in the MAC Tournament final. BG trailed the Cardinals during most of the penalty-kick phase, but rallied back to advance past BSU and capture the league tourney crown.
The Falcons scored two or more goals in a match on 12 occasions in 2018, including 10 times in the 14 matches vs. MAC foes. BG allowed as many as two goals only twice, in a 2-0 loss at then-No. 15 Northwestern and a 4-1 setback at Penn State in the NCAA Championships.
In Fannon's first two years, BGSU went 25-0-0 when scoring at least two goals.
Following that Northwestern match on Sept. 9, BGSU never trailed at any point in any game until Akron scored with just 1:41 left in the teams' contest on Oct. 18. BG went a total of 1008:19 – nearly 17 hours of match time – without finding themselves behind on the scoreboard.
BG has won 16 MAC regular-season matches during Fannon's first two years. During the previous eight seasons (2009-16), the Falcons won a total of 15 MAC regular-season contests. The team went 15-61-12 in league play during that eight-year stretch before going a combined 16-5-1 in the MAC over the 2017 and '18 seasons.
BGSU led the league in a veritable plethora of categories in 2018. In MAC play, BG paced the league in goals, assists, points, shots, shot percentage, fewest goals allowed, shutouts and lowest goals-against average.
The Falcons had 30 players on the roster in 2018. Hubert was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year, while Kennedy took home MAC Defensive-Player-of-the-Year honors. Washington was named the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week on Sept. 25, and Abbitt and Duwve joined that trio on the All-MAC and all-region teams.
But, BG's success was the result of valuable contributions from a host of players. Baeron was named MAC Tournament MVP after BGSU captured the title, and Nikki Cox, Nikhita Jacob and Jennifer Reyes joined Baeron on the MAC All-Tournament Team.
Fannon's team employs an aggressive style of play on both ends of the pitch that creates an overwhelming number of scoring opportunities while permitting relatively few chances for opponents. On offense, the Falcons led the MAC with a school-record 43 goals and 49 assists in 2017. The assists total was third in school history and ranked eighth nationally. On defense, the team allowed the fewest shots (217) and shots on goal (99) in school history and had the program's second-best scoring defense (26 goals allowed, 1.24/game).
In 2018, BG again scored 43 goals, adding 42 assists. Four Falcons – Hubert, Washington, Kennedy and Cox – each had at least five goals and 19 points. Duwve was on a school-record pace for lowest GAA in a season prior to the NCAA Tournament match at PSU, and ended the year with a GAA of just 0.79.
Hubert was the first player in program history to reach double digits in both goals (13) and assists (10) in a season, while Washington had nine goals and nine assists. In MAC play, Hubert led the conference in goals (8), assists (7) and points (23), while Washington finished second in both goals (7) and points (19). Kennedy was second in the entire conference in assists (7), and also was ranked among the top 10 in points (13) in league action.
Duwve had a miniscule GAA of 0.49 in MAC play, as she allowed only five goals in 927-plus minutes in league regular-season action, and had a saves percentage of .878. She led the MAC in GAA and saves pct., both overall and in MAC matches only.
Overall, Kennedy had 10 assists to tie Hubert for the team lead. The 2018 season marked the first time in program history that BG had two players with 10 assists each.
The 2017 team led by Fannon included eight freshmen, two transfers, and just four seniors. Eight players scored their first career point and five their first career goal. Victoria Cope, in her first season as starting goalkeeper, played over 1,700 minutes and allowed a 1.26 GAA, fifth best in program history. Hubert (12) and Skylar Fleak (11) were one of just five pairs of teammates in the country with 11-plus goals each, while Kennedy, Madison Schupbach, and Marissa Swindell were the MAC's top three in total assists. Kennedy's 10 assists tied the school record, and she (and Hubert) would equal that total in 2018.
Fannon's 2017 team also brought home a large number of awards and honors. He was named the 2017 MAC Coach of the Year, while Fleak received MAC Offensive-Player-of-the-Year honors. The Falcons had three jplayers named to the All-MAC First Team and another earn league second-team accolades. Fleak earned USC All-Region third-team honors, while four players were named OCSA All-Ohio. In the classroom, ten Falcons were honored as Academic All-MAC Team members, and Baeron and Cope were named MAC Distinguished Scholar Athletes.
Prior to arriving at BGSU, Fannon served as a coach at Regis University, the University of Wyoming, and Wittenberg University.
Fannon served as head coach at Wittenberg for four seasons from 2013-16. He compiled a 40-26-10 record and went 21-8-3 in North Coast Athletic Conference play. In 2016, his team went 13-5-2 overall and 7-1 in the NCAC, advancing to the tournament championship and the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Tigers lost just one game by more than one goal, and Fannon earned NCAC Coach of the Year honors for his efforts. He was also named the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association (OCSA) Women's Division III Coach of the Year.
His teams at Wittenberg twice won the NCAC regular season championship, advancing at least to the NCAC Tournament semifinals in each of his four seasons. Twice, the Tigers played in the NCAC Championship game.
A native of York, England, Fannon spent the 2012 season as an assistant coach at the University of Wyoming. Prior to his time in Laramie, he was an assistant coach for the men's soccer program at Regis University for two years, helping the Rangers to a combined 27-7-5 record.
Fannon has worked as the Challenger Sports Regional Director for Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and Mexico, and he also coached the Broomfield Blast high school-aged girls' teams from 2009-12, earning a club Coach of the Year award. He has his NSCAA Premier diploma and earned his Football Association Coaching Certificate in England. He also has a United State Soccer Federation Goalkeeping License.
A graduate of Davis & Elkins College, Fannon was a first team all-region and first team all-conference player in both of his seasons with the Senators. Prior to Davis & Elkins, he played one season at Dutchess Community College. He received his bachelor's degree in physical education in 2008 and his master's degree in coaching from Ohio University in 2015.
Fannon and his wife Julie, who is an Ohio native, have two daughters, Rowen and Mason.