After three failed attempts, the Ohio women’s soccer team team has one more chance to earn a victory on their current four-game road swing.
Despite gaining the early advantage, the Bobcats battled back to draw 2-2 against the Akron Zips at FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field on Friday evening.
Sophomore Holly Harris scored on 16 minutes to give Aaron Rodgers and his squad an ideal start, but two goals in five minutes from Lani Smith and Kelly Deniro handed the Zips a 2-1 halftime lead. With 25 minutes gone in the second stanza, freshman Alli Cislo put the ball in the back of the net to give the Bobcats their second draw in conference play.
Akron (4-6-3, 1-3-1 MAC) had a 24-9 shots advantage over visting Ohio (5-4-4, 1-2-2 MAC). The Bobcats and the Zips each had three corners and both sides were caught offside on two different occasions.
Ohio senior stopper Mattie Liston made seven saves in the match, and Akron goalkeeper Klaire Adee stopped three shots in the game.
In the 16th minute, the ‘Cats got the lead they were looking for. Testing her luck with a shot from the far right wing, Harris’ shot went past Adee and gave Ohio the early momentum.
Eight minutes later, Ohio’s lead vanished. Deniro found Smith, and her shot from the far left wing went past Liston to tie the score at one.
On 29 minutes, Akron took the lead. After acting as the playmaker on Smith’s goal, Deniro’s shot from the top of the box found the back of the net and Ohio was forced to make changes.
Right before the break, Rachel Dennis tried to give the Zips a 2-goal advantage, but Liston made the save to keep the deficit at 2-1 going into halftime.
After the first 45 minutes of action, Akron had 12 shots compared to Ohio’s two, and the Zips executed three corners, while Ohio only had one.
At the start of the second half, Ohio attempted to take the game to the home side. Carly Manso unleashed a shot four minutes into the second half, but her shot did not trouble Adee.
Manso tried her luck again eight minutes later. On this occasion, however, her shot went over the crossbar.
On 70 minutes, Ohio found the equalizer. Manso crossed the ball into the box from the right side of the field, and Cislo’s shot from inside the box found the back of the net to level proceedings.
With one minute remaining until extra time, Smith tried to be the hero, and Liston made the save to ensure overtime would be played in Akron.
In the first overtime period, Deniro had a chance to score the winner on 99 minutes. Unfortunately for her, the shot was wide of the target.
The second overtime session saw both teams waste chances to win the game. Harris, who scored two goals last season against Akron, had a chance to score her second of the night. Adee made sure Harris’ shot did not find the back of the net.
In the last minute of the match, Akron let a great chance to win the game pass them by. Smith took a shot at goal and the ball struck the crossbar and stayed out of the goal.
Harris had one more opportunity to win the game, but her shot was saved by Adee.
The Ohio women’s soccer team will be looking to grab their fourth away win of the season when they travel to western New York to take on the Buffalo Bulls. Kickoff on Sunday is set for noon.