ATHENS, Ohio - In the official debut of new head coach Aaron Rodgers, the Ohio University women's soccer team was narrowly edged by the visiting Indiana Hoosiers Friday afternoon at Chessa Field, 1-0. In a very even match, a Lisa Nouanesengsy 69th-minute goal proved to be the difference in each program's opening game of the 2013 season.
Indiana (1-0) recorded 10 total shots to Ohio's eight, with the Hoosiers hitting six of theirs on target. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Nicole Amari (Vernon Hills, Ill.) had a very solid day in net, making five saves to deny the Hoosiers on multiple good scoring opportunities.
The Bobcats (0-1) created a number of quality scoring chances as well. Colorado transfer Carly Manso (Vernon Hills, Ill.) recorded two total shots (both on target) and true freshman Allison Cislo (Crownsville, Md.) added an impressive headed attempt which was saved by Indiana's Shannon Flower. Alexis Milesky (Plain City, Ohio), Tonya Frasik (Lebanon, Ohio), and Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio) each also contributed two shots for the Green and White.
Manso was on the end of Ohio's first scoring chance, firing a shot on target in the ninth minute. Flower was well positioned for the attempt, however, and was able to make the save. Indiana answered back with two good scoring opportunities of its own, as Rebecca Candler recorded an attempt on target in the 11th minute and Monica Melnik then added one in the 20th. Amari was equal to each opportunity, making two great saves to keep the match level at 0-0.
Coming out of the locker room with the match still scoreless, Ohio showed a new attacking intent in the final 45 minutes. The `Cats took six of their eight shots in the second half. Two of these came right from the outset of the second frame, as Milesky hit a shot just wide in the 47th minute and Finley's 50th-minute header fizzed just wide of the target.
The Hoosiers were able to break the deadlock in the 69th minute, recording the decisive tally when Lara Ross floated in a ball over the Bobcat defense from 22 yards out. Nouanesengsy alertly ran under it and was able to volley it past the outstretched Amari from six yards out.
Ohio nearly responded with a goal just two minutes later. A sharp cross was whipped in towards Cislo and the freshman snapped a smart header towards the far post. Flower was able to make an impressive diving save to parry the shot aside and keep her team's lead intact.
Ohio will next be in action on Sunday, Aug. 25 against Wright State. The Bobcats and Raiders will kick things off from Chessa Field beginning at 1 p.m.
Goals: Indiana - Lisa Nouanesengsy 1 (Lara Ross 1) 69'