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Ohio Beats Eastern Michigan 2-1 in Double Overtime

Sept. 25, 2005

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ATHENS, Ohio - Freshman midfielder Erika Dietz (Yorktown, Va.) scored her first collegiate goal in double overtime on Sunday, giving the Ohio women's soccer team a 2-1 victory over Eastern Michigan in a Mid-American Conference match at Chessa Field.

The win lifted the Bobcats to a 3-5-0 record on the season and 1-1-0 in the MAC. The Eagles, meanwhile, fell to 3-6-1 and 1-1-0 in the MAC.

"This (win) is definitely a confidence-builder that was well earned," said Ohio head coach Stacy Strauss. "We played with more intensity throughout the entire game than we have thus far and we kept possession of the ball. We need to learn, though, that we can put teams away in the first half."

Just nine minutes into the match, Bobcat midfielder Lindsey Price took a shot that was blocked by a defender. The sophomore from West Chester, Ohio, collected the ball and then passed it to the right for freshman forward Maggie Rojas-Alford (Minnetonka, Minn.), who fired a low shot past Eastern Michigan goalkeeper Sara Schiffbauer from 12 yards out.

"Price made a great run with the ball and took a shot that deflected off one of their defenders," Rojas-Alford said about her second goal of the season. "Then she passed it out my way and I brought it down with my chest, took a touch and just looked up and took my shot. The goalie had slid more near-post so I knew I had to put it far-post on the ground and it went in."

Ohio took the 1-0 lead into halftime but the Eagles created several strong chances to score early in the second period. The first opportunity was thwarted when junior defender Larissa Najjar (Columbus, Ohio) made a diving tackle to knock the ball loose from Eastern Michigan forward Jessica Lathrop as she drove into the box.

The Eagles capitalized on their next chance, however, when a corner kick resulted in a foul by Najjar inside the box. Michele Lawrence stepped up for the penalty kick and slid it past Bobcat keeper Melissa Parra (Des Moines, Iowa) to make it 1-1 in the 58th minute of action.

Just a few minutes later, Eastern Michigan almost scored again on a corner kick when a shot by Shannon McIntyre was kicked out by Ohio senior sweeper Crystal Reed (Alexandria, Va.) just as it was about to cross the goal line. After that, the score remained tied through the end of regulation and the first overtime period.

Just past the halfway point of the second sudden-victory period, however, an Eagle foul gave the Bobcats a free kick from the left flank. Najjar, who had been moved up to forward at the start of the second overtime, served the ball to the far side of the box, where Price headed it into the center while being knocked down by two defenders. Dietz then one-timed it from 20 yards out and placed it over the keeper and into the left side netting for the game-winner in the 106th minute.

"I was still mad at myself from the first overtime period when I shot one just wide," said Dietz. "I wanted a goal so bad so when it came to me, I just hit it. Playing midfield instead of forward, I didn't expect to score too many this season but this is definitely the best way to get my first one."

Even though it was the freshmen who scored both goals on Sunday, Strauss credited Price for setting the tone and helping the team with two assists.

"Price really battled for us this whole weekend," Strauss said about the 2004 MAC All-Freshman Team member. "She set the tone with her physical play and relentless energy. She brings other players into the attack with her and I was very pleased with her performance."

For the match, Eastern Michigan held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks but Ohio took 15 shots compared to just nine for the Eagles. Parra made four saves in goal for the Bobcats while both teams committed 21 fouls during the intense and physical contest.

Ohio will now play its next four matches on the road, starting Friday at Northern Illinois. The final two home matches of the regular season for the Bobcats will be Oct. 14 and 16 against Ball State and Miami, respectively.