PITTSBURGH, Pa.– Despite the first career goal from Abby Townsend and a late offensive push, the Ohio women's soccer team (0-1-0) would be unable to overcome an early second half goal, falling to the University of Pittsburgh (1-0-0), 2-1, in the season opener in Pittsburgh.
"We knew when we scheduled our nonconference games we would be challenging our team," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "Give credit to Pitt for capitalizing on the opportunities they had. It was a great game to watch, I'm sure. We gave an ACC team at their place everything they could handle. It was a tough environment, but we as a staff are very pleased with the amount of chances we created and the fight we had for 90 minutes."
The Bobcats would get the first shot of the game off in the third minute, when Maria Collica (Solon, Ohio) fired a shot that was grabbed by the Pitt keeper. About a minute later, the Panthers would record their first shot of the game, on a ball that would sail high of starting keeper, Erin Beurket (Milford, Ohio).
After Pitt would register the next shot in the 14thminute, Ohio would get a shot in the 16thminute when Townsend (Powell, Ohio) recorded a shot on goal off a corner kick that forced the Panther s' keeper to make the grab.
After a shot from Alivia Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) in the 18thminute, Ohio would strike first in the 20thminute. Townsend would register her first career goal when she would head the ball in on a send in from Sydney Leckie (Medina, Ohio), putting Ohio up, 1-0.
After the goal, the Ohio offense would pick up, with both Leckie and Rianna Reese (Liberty Township, Ohio) recording shots in the 22ndand 28thminute, respectively.
The Panthers would get their third shot of the game, and their first on goal, in the 33rdminute. However, the ball would be snagged by Beurket to keep Ohio's 1-0 advantage.
After another Pitt shot in the 39thminute, the Panthers would get the equalizer in the 41stminute on a goal from Anna Rico, tying the game at 1-1.
Neither team would add on before the end of the half, and both teams would enter halftime with the game tied at 1-1.
Overall, Ohio recorded six shots from six different Bobcats, with four of those shots on goal. In net, Beurket would face two shots and allow one goal and make one save through the first 45 minutes.
Pitt would take the lead early in the second half, when Ashley Moreia would score in the 52ndminute to get the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
Townsend would register the Bobcats' first shot of the second half, a ball that would go wide of the next in the 57thminute. Moments later, Haley Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio) would take a corner kick and Leckie would send the ball wide of the net herself.
With Pitt still leading 2-1, the Panthers would register a shot in 62ndminute, on a ball that would go wide. Then in the 72ndminute, Pitt would record another attempt, but the Bobcat defense would block the shot to keep it a one-goal game.
The 75thminute would see Maeve Maloney (Lebanon, Ohio) register her first shot of the game, but the ball would go wide of the net. Moments later, Maloney would get the ball back and again fire it towards the goal, with it going wide once again. Milesky would then make an attempt herself, sending the ball high and keeping it a 2-1 game.
After back-to-back attempts from Pitt, Leckie would register another attempt for the Bobcats, sending the ball wide of the net in the 80thminute. Moments later, Milesky would fire a shot towards the goal, forcing the Pitt keeper to make the save and keep the game at 2-1.
The Bobcats would make a push in the final minutes of the game. Madelyn Kah (Hamilton, Ohio) would register her first shot of the season in the 86thminute, forcing Pitt to make the save. Then in the 88thminute, Milesky would register another attempt, forcing the Pitt keeper to make the save. Despite the final push, the Bobcats would be unable to get the equalizer and would fall by the final of 2-1.
Overall, the Bobcats recorded 15 shots, with seven of them on goal. Milesky would record four shots, with two on goal, followed by Townsend who had three shots and a goal. Leckie registered and assist and three shots, and Maloney recorded two attempts for Ohio. Reese, Kah, and Collica all recorded shots for Ohio.
In net, Beurket allowed two goals on four attempts, recording two saves in 90 minutes of work in net.
For Pitt, the Panthers registered 12 shots, with four of them on goal. Starting keeper, Amaia Pena allowed one goal and made six saves in 90 minutes of work.
"We are excited to get back on the field on Sunday and compete again," Rodgers said. "This group is so much fun to work with and be around. We will bounce back."
Up next, the Bobcats stay in Pittsburgh to take on Robert Morris Sunday, Aug. 19. First touch is set for 1 p.m.