ATHENS, Ohio –Thanks to four second half goals, the Ohio soccer team (7-4-0, 2-1-0 MAC) defeated Mid0American Conference foe Toledo (3-8-0, 0-3-0 MAC), Friday evening (Oct. 4) at Chessa Field.
"I think we controlled the tempo of the game," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "We played well, we had a lot of the ball, we just weren't as decisive going into the final third. We were a little timid going into the final third and that is something that we talked about."
The early game started off quick, with junior midfielder Jenni Santacaterina (Geneva, Ill.) registering an early shot on goal in the eighth minute. Toledo pushed back, getting off two quick shots on Ohio's net, both of which, were met by saves from junior goalkeeper Sydney Malham (Nashville, Tenn.).
Ohio launched a quick counter with sophomore forward Abby Townsend (Powell, Ohio) registering a shot on goal. Townsend continued to pressure Toledo, placing another shot wide right. A back and forth first half became a battle in the midfield, but both teams ended up going into halftime locked at 0-0.
Ohio outshot Toledo, 7-4, while taking two corner kicks to the Rockets' zero.
The second half started off with a bang for Ohio, registering three shots on goal in the opening 10 minutes coming out of halftime from Santacaterina, freshman Olivia Page (Springboro, Ohio) and senior Courtney Daugerdas (Libertyville, Ill.).
The goals came in quick succession following Ohio's great opening, with Townsend scoring for the Bobcats in the 54th minute. Townsend received a ball over the top from senior Alivia Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) sending Townsend down the left-hand side where she placed her shot in the bottom right hand side of the net, putting the Bobcats up 1-0.
Three minutes after the restart, Ohio put yet another in the back of the net. This time, it was Milesky who swiped possession out of the Toledo backfield and slotted another ball past the Toledo keeper, making it 2-0.
After the goal from Milesky, Ohio began to dominate the game. The Bobcats continued to fire shots at Toledo's goal, putting the pressure on the Rockets in their defensive half.
After a scoreless but dominate, 15 minutes for Ohio, the pressure paid off this time with Page getting her name on the score sheet in the 75th minute. The forward received a perfectly weighted pass from junior sub Sarina Dirrig (Powell, Ohio) and guided her shot into the bottom left hand side of the net, putting Ohio 3-0 up on Toledo.
It was yet another turnover from Toledo in their defensive third which saw Ohio capitalize on another goal scoring opportunity. This time, it was freshman forward Maddie Young (Cincinnati, Ohio) who cleaned up on the Toledo mistake and won herself an easy turn and shoot opportunity, giving the Bobcats the 4-0 advantage.
The Ohio defense held strong the remainder of the game, sealing the 4-0 victory for the Bobcats.
Ohio outshot Toledo 21-10, with five corner kicks compared to the Rockets' two.
Leading Ohio was Townsend, who scored one goal on four shots, with two on goal. Milesky followed with a goal and an assist, while Page recorded a goal on three shots with two on goal. Young also added a goal and an assist for Ohio, while Dirrig added an assist for the Bobcats.
In net, Malham was a brick wall, playing all 90 minutes while not allowing a goal and making four saves.
Ohio will be back in action Sunday, Oct. 6 at Chessa Field, where the Bobcats will take on the Bowling Green Flacons, at 1 p.m.