With nine minutes gone in the second half, Ohio junior center back Grace Campbell stepped up to take a free kick in her own half. She hit the ball as far as she could, and her service flew over the heads of the Eastern Kentucky defense and landed at the feet of sophomore forward Lexi Milesky.
Milesky took one touch, and her second touch was a shot at goal. Her shot found the right corner of the net, and after that moment, there was no way back for Eastern Kentucky.
After Milesky’s goal, Carly Manso scored one of her own toward the end of the second half, which gave the Bobcats a 2-0 victory against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Chessa Field on Sunday afternoon.
“I felt like once we got one goal, they would keep coming,” Milesky said. “We got more opportunities and more opportunities during the game, but we have to be more focused in putting those chances away.”
Ohio was in control for a majority of the match, and its dominance started in the first minute. Sasha Haverchak made a pass to Manso, who found Liz Finley in the penalty box. Finley’s shot was directed at Anna Hall, who made the save.
Six minutes later, Ohio (2-4-0) had created one of its best chances of the game. Finley played a through ball to Manso, who found herself in a one-on-one situation with Hall. Manso tried to go around Hall, but she lost the ball and Eastern Kentucky’s defense cleared the ball away.
In the 14th minute, the Bobcats came close to scoring again. Manso ran down the right side of the field, cut back and crossed the ball across the penalty box to Finley, but her shot did not trouble Hall.
Seven minutes into the second half, Ohio had a goal taken off the scoreboard. Finley found Milesky in the penalty box, and Milesky’s shot went into the back of the net, but the goal was called back due to an offside call.
In the 61st minute, Ohio thought it doubled its lead, but the referee again called Ohio’s goal back due to another offside call.
Eastern Kentucky (2-3-0) had few chances in the game, but its best chance came with 25 minutes left. Cassie Smith beat Campbell down the right side of the field, and her pass was directed to Dani Cant, but her shot went over the crossbar.
In the 77th minute, Ohio doubled its lead. The Bobcats had many players in the penalty box trying to put the ball in the back of the net. The referee eventually ruled that one of Ohio’s shots crossed the line. The goal was given to Milesky at first, but then the goal was credited to Manso.
“It’s a great feeling to get a win at home,” she said. “To have your peer athletes and family cheer you on, there’s no better feeling than that.”
Ohio will host Detroit on Friday at 4 p.m. Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers wants his team to keep attacking and play strong defense.
“We have to finish more of our chances,” Rodgers said. “We have to defend hard and well, and keep posting shutouts. If we do that, we’ll be successful on Friday.”