A new face propelled Ohio (3-3) to its fourth straight victory on Sunday afternoon at Chessa Field. Freshman Holly Harrisprovided both of Ohio’s goals in the 2-1 win over the Cleveland State Vikings (2-4).
The Bobcats applied pressure to the Vikings’ half of the field early in the game. Cat Rogers sent a ball sailing over the net in the third minute of the match. Ohio continued moving the ball around. In the ninth minute, Harris found the back of the net for her first career goal to give the Bobcats the early advantage. Natalie Bechtel and Liz Finley were credited with the assist.
“I beat the girl on the side and I had an open goal so I was like, I can’t miss this one, so I made sure I hit it on frame,” Harris said of her first goal.
Cleveland State didn’t take long to counter with an attack. Less than two minutes later, Jackie Kurgan of Cleveland State caught Ohio goalkeeper Mattie Liston off guard and nailed a hard shot into the goal to tie the game.
The Bobcats had chances throughout the first half. In the 44th minute, Gabby Hausfeld sent a shot over the post after a string of passes along the Vikings’ 18-yard box.
Time expired in the first half with the score still locked at 1-1.
Rogers, who came into Sunday’s game having scored Ohio’s last five goals, missed an opportunity early in the second half with a high shot that was tipped over the net by Vikings goalkeeper Becca Coleman.
Back-to-back corner kicks proved to be a turning point in the game. On the second corner kick, served by Rogers, Annie Beard headed the ball into the box where Harris was there to finish the ball for the game-winning goal.
“Honestly, I’m surprised that hasn’t happened sooner for Holly and a number of others as well,” said head coach Stacy Strauss on her team’s ability to score goals. “Holly’s probably the most prolific goal-scorer of the freshmen class and so I think we felt it’s just been coming and we were happy for her today that she was able to finish two.”
The Bobcats continued pressure on the Vikings for the remainder of the second half.
Defensively, the back four were solid for Ohio throughout the game, fending off attacks from Cleveland State to hold them to six shots, four of which were on goal.
“They’ve played huge for us,” said Rogers of the team’s defenders. “The last four games we’ve won, they’ve been amazing, keeping the other team’s shots limited and not letting them get good chases on our goalies and it makes our goalies’ jobs easy.”
Backed by strong defense, the Bobcats were led to victory by a big game from Harris.
“Everybody can score, just Cat’s had her glory and hopefully she continues that but everybody has a chance and I guess today was my game,” Harris said.