Soccer: Ohio prepares to face Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan

For the third straight MAC weekend, Ohio won its Friday game but lost its Sunday game.

The Bobcats will look to have a six-point MAC weekend for the first time this season when they travel to face Bowling Green on Friday at 7 p.m. before they play Eastern Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Last time out, Ohio lost senior center back Gabby Hausfeld to an ACL injury on Friday, but it didn’t matter as her replacement, Megan Niebuhr, scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory against Ball State. On Sunday, goals from Maggie Scott and Jenna Weiner helped lift Miami to a 2-0 victory against Ohio.

“We did really well on Friday,” Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers said. “That was one of the most complete performances we’ve had since I’ve been here. On Sunday, we struggled mentally and we were not clinical enough in front of goal.”

On Sunday, Niebuhr, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, made her first collegiate start. Even though she’ll most likely be in Ohio’s starting lineup from here on out, she will keep the same mindset moving forward.

“For me, it doesn’t matter if I come off the bench or start,” Niebuhr said. “I want to stay positive, help the team stay positive and help keep the team organized.”

With her first start now out of the way, Niebuhr is now completely focused on helping the team to reach its goals for the rest of the season.

“It feels nice to have my first start out of the way,” she said. “Now, I can just start playing and help the team continue to gain momentum like we did on Friday.”

Niebuhr will start next to junior center back Grace Campbell in the team’s formation. Niebuhr says that Campbell and Hausfeld have been great mentors to her along the way.

“They’ve been unbelievable,” Niebuhr said. “They helped me out even before the season. I’m really fortunate to play next to Grace and to fill the shoes of Gabby, who’s done so much for this program.”

Bowling Green (2-11, 1-5 MAC) has not scored a goal in six of its last eight games. Its only win in MAC play was a 1-0 overtime victory at Akron on Oct. 5. Last season, Ohio defeated Bowling Green at Chessa Field, 3-1.

“At this point in the season, wins are at a premium,” Rodgers said. “We have to go there and be aggressive, stay organized, and create chances.”

Eastern Michigan (8-4-1, 4-2 MAC) has won six of its last eight games. Its coming off victories against Toledo and Central Michigan. Last season, Ohio lost to Eastern Michigan in the regular season and the first round of the MAC Tournament by a score of 3-0.

“They are a really good team,” he said. “They are super organized and like Miami in the fact that they know exactly how they want to play. If we want to be successful, we have to take care of the details.

Ohio (6-8, 3-3 MAC) is currently tied for sixth place in the MAC with Ball State. For Ohio to climb the table, it’ll need to put in a team effort for 90 minutes.

“We’ve got to focus on the details in both games,” Rodgers said. “For the seniors in the team, they could potentially only have five games left, so they need to play each game like it’s their last.”

 

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