With 19 minutes left in the second half and the score tied at one, the Ohio Bobcats pushed players up the field to try to score a second goal that would put the pressure on the Detroit Titans.
Freshman Allie Curry received the ball on the right side of the field and tried to create space so she could deliver a cross into the penalty box. Her cross found Lexi Milesky, and Milesky’s shot was not going to be stopped by Detroit goalkeeper Marina Manzo.
Milesky’s shot found the left corner of the net, and Hannah Jaggers added a third goal with five minutes left to give the Bobcats a 3-1 victory against the Titans at Chessa Field on Friday evening.
“I knew coming into it that it was going to be a tough game,” Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers said. “They (Detroit) are a good, solid team. They were very physical, but we were resilient in the second half and scored two really good goals.”
Ohio’s first legitimate chance came in the 20th minute. Carly Manso took a corner kick from the right side of the field, and the ball fell to senior center back Gabby Hausfeld, whose shot was hit over the crossbar.
Six minutes later, Detroit (1-4-1) scored the first goal of the game. Alyssa Lotito executed a corner kick from the right side of the field, and her pass found the head of Alyssa Riley. Riley’s powerful header beat Ohio goalkeeper Nicole Amari and found the back of the net.
“We were telling each other to pick it up individually and as a team,” Jaggers, a native of Taylorsville, Kentucky, said.
Two minutes after Detroit’s goal, Ohio (3-4-0) came close to tying the game. Milesky’s beautiful flick found right back Tonya Frasik. Frasik’s cross from the right side of the field found freshman Kelley Zebrowski, whose shot was saved by Manzo.
On 37 minutes, Ohio tied the game. Jaggers played a short pass to Milesky, and Milesky played the ball over the heads of the Detroit defense. Her pass found Zebrowski, and Zebrowski’s shot was almost cleared off the line by Lotito, but her clearance attempt came up short. Second-year striker Alli Cislo managed to get a foot on the ball to prevent Lotito from clearing the ball out of the penalty box.
Three minutes after Milesky’s goal gave Ohio a 2-1 lead, Detroit had a shot on goal. Lotito tried to redeem herself after her earlier mistake, but her shot was directed at Amari, who made the easy save.
In the 85th minute, Ohio doubled its lead. Milesky’s shot was blocked, and Manzo and Ohio left back Celeste Fushimi-Karns tried to chase the ball down. Fushimi-Karns got to the ball first, avoided Manzo, and crossed the ball into Jaggers. Jaggers’ shot was deflected into the empty net.
“Winning is great,” Milesky said. “Everything is coming together for us. The process is long, but it’s nice to get results from all of the hard work.”
Ohio will go on the road to face Dayton on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Rodgers knows that it will be hard for Ohio to get a result.
“They have a phenomenal team,” he said. “They have a long history of playing well in the A-10 and NCAA Tournament. We’ll try to take the game to them. They have dynamic players up front, so we’ll have to be solid at the back.”