Last season, the Ohio Bobcats and Wright State Raiders played out a 1-1 draw at Chessa Field in Athens, Ohio.
As the Bobcats look to bounce back following defeats against Butler and Purdue, Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers knows it will be difficult for the Bobcats to win their first game of the season at Wright State, which is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Friday.
“It’s going to be a big, hard game for us,” Rodgers said. “They have played two good opponents to start the season like we have. We’ll have to beat the intensity that they’ll have.”
On Friday, Ohio gave up two goals in the middle of the second half against Butler, but Liz Finley and Allie Curry’s goals ensured that the game would go to overtime. In the second overtime period, the Bobcats failed to defend a corner properly, which led to a 3-2 defeat. On Sunday, Ohio gave up an early goal and a goal in the second half, which gave Purdue a 2-0 victory.
“We played well in many areas against Butler,” he said. “We did give up two goals on set pieces, but we had a majority of the play and completed more passes than they did. On Sunday, we didn’t put out a performance I know this team is capable of. The players were frustrated after the defeat, but these losses will prepare us for the future.”
In the game against Butler, Curry scored her first collegiate goal in her Ohio debut. Midfielder Megan Niebuhr and forward Kelley Zebrowski also played major minutes in the first two games. Sophomore forward Lexi Milesky thinks the freshmen will continue to make an impact throughout the season.
“There is not a freshman on this team who couldn’t start,” Milesky said. “They bring so much to the table for the team.”
Even though Ohio (0-2-0) has given up five goals in its first two games of the season, Milesky is confident that the defense will be able to tighten up and produce shutouts.
“We always want our goals scored to be higher than our goals allowed at the end of the season,” she said. “If we don’t give up goals, we can’t lose games.”
Wright State (0-2-0) lost at home against Louisville on Friday, 2-1. On Monday, the Raiders lost at No. 21 Wake Forest, 1-0. Freshman Bryce Hueber scored the team’s goal against Louisville. She also has three shots on goal so far this season.
For Ohio to earn its first victory of the season, it must improve its defensive play and take advantage of the chances it creates.
“We have to be disciplined defensively and defend set pieces well,” Rodgers said. “We have to get back to our confident selves and break teams down. We have to take our chances when we get them as well.”