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Townsend Leads Ohio Soccer to 2-1 Win over EKU in Overtime

Townsend Leads Ohio Soccer to 2-1 Win over EKU in Overtime

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ATHENS, Ohio– The Ohio soccer team (1-0) went to overtime and took down Eastern Kentucky (0-1), 2-1, on Thursday afternoon at Chessa Field. Sophomore forward Abby Townsend (Powell, Ohio) scored the match winner in the 95thminute. 

"That was a great game for us," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "EKU played the style of so many teams that we're going to play in our conference and that so many teams play in college soccer. They  put you under a lot of pressure. They're very direct and they have a lot of energy. For us to try and match that energy, but then impose our style of play, I think we had moments of it today, but I also think we kind of got lost in the physical game. I told them, that for us to come through with a win and have a learning experience, it was a great opportunity and great resilience in the end to get the win." 

The first half ended scoreless, with Ohio outshooting the Colonels 8-4 in the first frame. The Bobcats earned four corner kicks and had six shots on goal during the first 45 minutes. 

EKU opened the first half with two shots, however Ohio struck first in the 55th minute when senior defender Sydney Leckie (Medina, Ohio) found the back of the net from just inside the box. Leckie earned her first goal of the season, while senior midfielder Alivia Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) assisted on the goal.

After the Ohio goal, EKU went on the attack, recording two shots that went wide of the net. After another shot and save from EKU, the Colonels finally struck when Kylie Thompson tied the game at 1-1 in the 69th minute. 

Over the next 20 minutes, the Bobcats and Colonels battled, with Townsend recording a shot on goal in the 86th minute. However, neither team scored, sending the game to overtime with the game tied at 1-1. 

It didn't take long for the Bobcats to strike. In the 95th minute, Townsend put in the golden goal thanks to a long pass from Milesky, sending the Bobcats home with the 2-1 victory.

Overall, Ohio outshot the Colonels 12-11 and forced the Colonels to make eight saves. Both EKU and Ohio recorded four corner kicks. 

Junior goalkeeper Sydney Malham (Nashville, Tenn.) was the lone keeper for the Bobcats and made five saves while allowing one goal in 94 minutes. 

Townsend led the team, firing off four shots, three that were on goal and one goal, in 89 minutes on the field. Leckie had two shots on goal- including a goal, while sophomore forward Maeve Maloney (Lebanon, Ohio) and freshman midfielder Olivia Darrow (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) each had one. Milesky finished the game with two assists. 

Milesky, senior defender Victoria Breeden (Hudson, Ohio) and sophomore defender Olivia Sensky (Powell, Ohio) played all 95 minutes for Ohio.

Ohio will be back in action on Sunday, Aug. 25 when Ohio heads to Northern Kentucky. First touch will be at 7 p.m. and the match can be seen live on ESPN+.