ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Women's Soccer continued its hot streak on Friday afternoon, defeating the visiting Youngstown State Penguins by a final score of 1-0 to claim its fifth consecutive victory. Maggie Murnane's ninth-minute tally proved to be the difference between the two teams as the Bobcats head into Mid-American Conference play on a winning run the likes of which has not been accomplished since the 2004 season.
Despite being only a one-goal game, Friday's contest included multiple offensive opportunities. Ohio (5-3) had the bulk of these chances, outshooting the Penguins by a 22-14 margin. The Bobcats had three times as many attempts on target as their opponents, generating six compared to two. Murnane proved to be quite the nuisance for Youngstown State's defense, as she led all players in total shots (7) and shots on goal (4).
Mattie Liston earned her fourth shutout of the season in the win, stopping both shots which came her way. Not showing up on the score sheet were the multiple dangerous crosses she ventured out to collect or send well away from the goal, significantly limiting YSU's attempts at the target.
Ohio's defense and goalkeeping has been stellar in the last five-and-one-half matches, only allowing one goal in the last 495 minutes.
Murnane (Libertyville, Ill.) put the `Cats on the board almost immediately, scoring in just the ninth minute of the match. The junior received a nice pass from Cathryn Rogers (Etobicoke, Ontario) and collected the ball with her back to the goal at the top of the 18-yard box. Murnane took one touch to her left and fired a hard shot, beating the goalkeeper to the far post to make it 1-0.
The Bobcats continued to pepper the opposing defense throughout the rest of the first half, firing a total of 13 shots, five of which were on target. Ali Viola had a solid half in net for the Penguins, making four saves in the first 45 minutes.
Each side created a number of chances in the second half, as the balance of possession ebbed and flowed. Youngstown State (4-2) had the better of the pressure in the first few minutes of the frame, but the middle of the period belonged to the Bobcats. Murnane had a few more attempts in the final 45 minutes, hitting three total shots in the second half.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Friday, Sept. 21 when they open Mid-American Conference play at Bowling Green. Ohio and the Falcons will kick off at 7 p.m.