Jordyn Brengosz’ second goal of the season in the 76 minute gave Central Michigan a precious 2-1 overtime win over the Ohio Bobcats in Mount Pleasant, Michigan this afternoon.
The win moves Central Michigan (7-8, 3-1 MAC) into a first place tie with Kent State atop the Mid-American Conference. A Miami win over last-placed Ball State tomorrow afternoon will put the RedHawks in a three-way tie for the MAC regular season title. Ohio (8-7, 2-2 MAC) is one game behind both Central Michigan and Kent State at the moment and a loss at arch-rival Miami next Saturday will condemn the Bobcats to the four seed in the MAC tournament.
Despite being out-shot 9-7 by Central Michigan, Ohio had the same amount of shots on target as the hosts. Taylor Brown had two shots on target, while sophomore Kristine Gegas had one shot on target for the away side.
Both goalkeepers had relatively easy afternoons. Sophomore Brittany Walker only had to make one save for the ‘Cats. Her opposite number, Anastasia Netto, made two saves in the match.
Central Michigan had the first real chance in the 6th minute. Brengosz executed a penalty corner, and found teammate Bailey McKeon. McKeon’s shot was saved by Walker, who faced a quiet afternoon after her only save of the match.
Ohio got their first chance in the 14th minute. Jessica Jue found Brown via a penalty corner and the senior had her powerful shot saved by Netto.
In the 20th minute, the home side made the breakthrough. McKeon scored from close range to give Central Michigan a 1-0 lead midway through the first half. The goal was McKeon’s seventh of the campaign and was assisted by Mary Alice Moore.
Nine minutes later, the Bobcats got the equalizer from an unlikely source. Gegas, who has been impressive in her late game appearances, scored her first goal at the right time for the ‘Cats. Senior Laura Mastro drove towards goal and found Gegas, who had a tap-in from close range to level the score.
In the 54th minute, Ohio came close to capturing the lead. Adele Sammons executed the penalty corner and found Brown, whose shot was saved by Netto.
With a minute left in regulation, Lauryl Desch found Brown via a penalty corner, but Brown’s shot was blocked. After 70 minutes, the score was tied at 1, and Ohio was headed for its sixth overtime match. With a 2-3 record in overtime matches this season, the odds were stacked against the Bobcats.
Brengosz’ goal in the 6th minute of overtime ended Ohio’s hopes of a MAC regular season title and gave the Bobcats a 2-4 record in overtime matches this season.
On the first scoring chance for either team in the first extra period, Brengosz deflected a penalty corner for the game-winner.
Ohio will conclude regular season play next Saturday in Oxford against arch-rival Miami. Start time is set for 10:30 a.m. After the game, the Bobcats will then head back to Oxford for the MAC Tournament, which will be on November 2nd and 3rd. A MAC Tournament title will give Ohio two in a row, and five of the last seven.
Player of the Game: Jordyn Brengosz. Her goal in extra time was well-taken, and Central Michigan is in pole position to win the MAC regular season title. She played well the entire game. From early on, when she called Brittany Walker into action, to the end, when she beat Walker with an exquisite finish. Her goals will be needed if Central plan on winning the MAC Tournament this season.
Ohio Verdict: In the close games they have lost, the same problem keeps arising: they are not finishing their chances. Gegas scored her goal at the right time, but Ohio could not take the lead. They have made the journey harder on themselves. They will most likely be the four seed in the tournament, which means they will probably have to beat the one seed and the two seed to retain their crown.
Central Michigan Verdict: A great win over an outstanding opponent. The win gives them the chance to be the number one seed in the MAC Tournament. Even when Ohio scored the equalizer, they never panicked. They stuck to their game plan and held Ohio in check. This may be the best chance they will get to win a MAC Tournament title.