Soccer: Ohio hoping to end season on positive note vs. Kent State

Last season, Kent State came from behind to defeat Ohio at Chessa Field, 2-1.

The Ohio Bobcats will be hoping to put an end to their five-game losing streak when they host the Kent State Golden Flashes at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Ohio failed to qualify for the MAC Tournament after a 3-1 home loss to Toledo on Sunday. On Friday, the Bobcats fell at Central Michigan, 3-0.

“It’s disappointing not to make the MAC Tournament,” Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers said. “But I want the seniors to win their final game as a Bobcat.”

Even though the team has not won a game since Oct. 10, Rodgers is hopeful the team will be motivated for its final game of the season.

“Any group can be a little down when you are on a losing streak,” Rodgers said. “But we have had competitive practices this week leading up to the game.”

There are many reasons why Ohio (6-12, 3-7 MAC) has not played well recently. The team has failed to score on a regular basis and has given up far too many goals, but Rodgers also thinks part of the reason the team has struggled recently is because of the absence of senior captain and center back Gabby Hausfeld.

“Gabby is a great leader and a great player,” he said. “Megan (Niebuhr) has done a great job in filling in for her, but it always hurts when you miss a key player like Gabby.”

Rodgers will set up his team as usual ahead of the game. He will use the same personnel as well. Although Rodgers thinks the team is more talented this season than last season, a few factors have contributed to the team’s downfall.

“We have failed to execute like we did last season,” Rodgers said. “We have also played a harder schedule and the MAC is stronger than last season.”

Kent State (9-6-3, 4-4-2 MAC) has alternated wins and losses in its last five games. The Golden Flashes have won three away games this season. Sophomore forward Jenna Hellstrom leads the team with six goals and six assists this season.

“They are a direct, physical team,” he said. “They won’t spend much time passing the ball. They’ll put us under pressure. There are also scenarios where they might not make the MAC Tournament, but a win will help them out.”

For Ohio to end the season on a high note, it’ll have to put in a competitive performance.

“If we show our quality in our tactics, which is something we’ve done in some games this season, we can win the game,” Rodgers said.

 

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