Both the Ohio Bobcats (6-5-5, 2-3-3 MAC) and the Western Michigan Broncos (7-4-4, 5-1-2 MAC) had chances to win on Sunday afternoon, but neither side was able to take full advantage of its opportunities.
Sophomore striker Holly Harris saw two shots saved in overtime, and the Ohio women’s soccer team was able to earn a crucial 0-0 draw against Western Michigan at Chessa Field on Senior Day.
“After the game against Eastern Michigan, I left it to the players to define themselves,” Ohio head coach Aaron Rodgers said. “In today’s game, we were able to prove our worth for 110 minutes.”
Senior goalkeeper Mattie Liston made six saves in the match, which helped her become Ohio’s all-time leader in shutouts with 20. The Lakewood, Ohio, native knows that it was not an easy task to break the record.
“It feels good to break the record,” Liston said. “It took me all four years to brea
k the record, so I am pretty excited about it.”
Despite being her coach for one year, Rodgers is pleased Liston was able to write her name in the Ohio women’s soccer history book.
“She earned the record because she has done a fantastic job,” Rodgers said. “Now we need to get into the postseason so she has an opportunity to get more shutouts and make more saves.”
Western Michigan held a 15-8 advantage in shots and a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks in the match. Senior goalkeeper Michelle Watson also made six saves in the contest.
On six minutes, Ohio created its first scoring opportunity. Leah Sandercock found Alexis Milesky with a pass, and Milesky found Tonya Frasik on the right wing, but Frasik’s cross was saved by Watson.
Western Michigan rebounded with a dominant spell in Ohio territory, and even though they strung a few passes together, the Broncos were unable to beat Liston.
Six minutes after Ohio’s first attempt at goal, Harris was able to make her presence felt in the match. The sophomore made a turn and unleashed a shot, which Watson was able to save off the crossbar.
On 15 minutes, the ‘Cats almost paid the price for a defensive error. Junior Gabby Hausfeld’s pass was intercepted by Rachel Chaney, and the junior midfielder’s eventual shot was easily collected by Liston.
Midway through the first half, Ohio’s only corner kick of the first half almost found the back of the net. Sandercock put the ball into the box from the right side, and Maggie Murnane’s header went over the crossbar, which did not trouble Watson.
With seven minutes remaining until halftime, junior Aubrey Sudomier crossed the ball into the box from the right side of the field, but junior Nicole Hatcliffe’s shot went wide right of the goal.
After the first 45 minutes, the Broncos attempted seven shots compared to Ohio’s two.
With 16 minutes gone in the second half, Ohio let a great chance go to waste. Harris had the ball near the top of the box, and she laid the ball off to Carly Manso, whose shot went over the crossbar.
On 75 minutes, the Green and White had another opportunity to break the deadlock. Harris made a pass across the penalty box to Liz Finley, and Watson was able to gather the ball before Finley got to get a shot off.
With one minute remaining, Ohio had a glorious chance to win the game. Milesky put a cross into the danger area, and the ball fell to Sasha Haverchak, and the redshirt freshman’s shot went wide of the goal.
“When we are playing teams that are strong, we must be organized defensively and possess the ball,” Rodgers said. “We were a lot more organized defensively than we were Friday.”
In the first overtime period, Harris had two chances to end the game. In the 97th minute, her shot from long range did not trouble Watson. Three minutes later, however, Harris was able to edge closer to goal, and Watson was able to make another save to keep the score leveled at zero.
The Ohio Bobcats will travel on the road for the final time next weekend. The first of their two away games is Friday, when they travel to Toledo to take on the Rockets. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.