MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. –The Ohio soccer team (2-5-1, 0-1-0 MAC) opened Mid-American Conference play this evening (Sept. 21), falling to Central Michigan (3-6-0, 1-0-0 MAC) in an overtime heartbreaker, 1-0.
"Our team competed at a high level tonight, as well as CMU did," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "It was a highly competitive game. We knew coming in CMU has a very dangerous attack and we did a very good job of shutting down their chances. Competing like we did tonight on Sunday, will give us a great chance to get the win."
Central Michigan would get its first attempt of eight total shots on goal attempts in the 29thminute, on a shot that would go wide. Junior Sydney Leckie (Medina, Ohio) would get the first attempt for the Bobcats in the 12th minute, on a ball that would go wide left of the net. The Bobcats would record the next attempt in the 24th minute on a ball from Madelyn Kah (Hamilton, Ohio) that would be blocked by the CMU defense.
With constant change in possession and aggressive play, Ohio and Central Michigan both registered two corner kicks in the first half however, Central Michigan, applying constant pressure, had three shots on goal attempts to the Bobcats zero attempts. Sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Malham (Nashville, Tenn.) tallied three saves, of her registered seven, in the first half of regulation. The Bobcats stood tall on defense keeping the Chippewas scoreless through 45 minutes.
Within the first minute of second half play, Central Michigan recorded its fourth shot on goal giving Malham her fourth save of the game. Continuing to apply constant offensive pressure, CMU added another shot on goal in the 51st minute, this time hitting the post for a near Central Michigan goal, in the 63rdminute of regulation. Ohio was on its own half of the field most of the game relying heavily on its defensive play. Leckie recorded the only Ohio shot of the second half in the 65thminute. Malham, with three more saves, kept the Bobcats alive and headed to overtime.
After a scoreless first period of overtime play, Ohio and Central Michigan headed to the second overtime period battling wind, rain and fatigue. In the 104th minute of the game, Central Michigan recorded its first shot of the overtime period. In the 107th minute of play, Central Michigan again with a shot this time saved by Malham for her seventh save of the game.
A corner kick by Abby Townsend (Powell, Ohio) in 108th minute gave Ohio an opportunity for its first shot on goal, but was unable to connect with a Bobcat player. In a scramble to score, Central Michigan registered a shot that hit the crossbar with under 60 seconds of play remaining in overtime. Off this scramble play, Marle Bringard of Central Michigan was able to strike and score for a Chippewas goal with seconds left to play.
Overall, Ohio recorded three shots with none on goal, while CMU registered 17 shots with eight on goal. In net, Malham allowed one goal and registered seven saves.
Up next, the Bobcats travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan to match-up against Eastern Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 23 for game two of Mid-American Conference play. First touch is set for 1 p.m.