Soccer: Ohio seeking victory against Detroit

Ohio central midfielder Leah Sandercock runs with the ball against Eastern Kentucky on Sunday. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

Ohio central midfielder Leah Sandercock runs with the ball against Eastern Kentucky on Sunday. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

After a weekend in which the Ohio Bobcats blew two leads in a loss against Xavier on Friday and dominated in a 2-0 victory against Eastern Kentucky on Sunday, the team will only have one game to prepare for this week. Ohio will host Detroit on Friday at 4 p.m.

Junior central midfielder Leah Sandercock was pleased with how the team performed last weekend even though it let a late lead against Xavier slip away.

“We were able to pass the ball around really well last weekend,” Sandercock said. “We did suffer a heartbreaking loss Friday, but we were able to come together as a team and get a win Sunday.”

In both games last weekend, Ohio (2-4-0) had numerous chances to score goals. It did score four goals in the two games last weekend, but the team failed to convert on a lot of the chances that were created. Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers will make sure the team gets plenty of practice finishing created chances before Friday.

“A lot of it (finishing) has to do with mentality,” Rodgers said. “Our players have to be brave and confident in front of goal.”

Before Sunday’s game, Rodgers decided to go with a 4-diamond-2 shape instead of his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. Sandercock thinks that playing multiple formations is a strength the team possesses.

“It helps us to react and keep playing no matter what,” she said. “Everyone will work hard for the team no matter what shape or position we’re in on the field.”

This week in training, Rodgers and the team will work on keeping possession of the ball, and keeping a high speed of play and rhythm. The team will also work on its defensive transition. Rodgers thought the team struggled with its defensive transitions against Xavier.

Detroit (1-3-1) has lost its last two games. The squad did draw 0-0 at home against Central Michigan on Aug. 31, however. Sophomore midfielder Anna Mindling leads Detroit with one goal and one assist on the season. Freshman midfielder Suzie Redick and sophomore forward Aubrey Formica each have a goal to their name.

“It’s fun to play against new teams,” he said. “They (Detroit) have a solid team who is hard working and organized. We have to be more clinical in our finishing and have to eliminate the mistakes we made against Xavier.”

If Ohio is to win its second straight game, it will need to finish off more of its created chances and keep Detroit’s offense from scoring goals.

“We have to keep creating chances,” Rodgers said. “We also have to keep possessing the ball and making ourselves dangerous on the attack. We also need to stay organized defensively if we are to win.”

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