ATHENS, Ohio – Replaying like a mirror image from the teams’ meeting last season, Ohio Soccer drew the Ball State Cardinals 1-1 after two overtimes at Chessa Field on Sunday afternoon. The Bobcats scored early then withstood an aggressive Cardinal attack in the final stages of the match to pick up one point.
With the draw, Ohio (6-5-1, 1-2-1 MAC) has now collected four points in Mid-American Conference play. The Cardinals (5-4-3, 2-1-1 MAC) picked up their third draw of the season and have now earned seven points in four MAC matches.
Ball State attacked in waves throughout the match, generating 30 total shots compared to Ohio’s 13. The Bobcats were far more productive with their opportunities, however, as 46 percent (six of 13) of their shots were on target while Ball State operated at a clip of 30 percent (nine of 30).
The first half began with the Bobcats controlling most of the play. It did not take long for the home team to chalk one up on the scoreboard as in the third minute, the Bobcats struck first after a blistering shot from Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio) was not corralled by Aubrey Buehler of Ball State. The rebound ricocheted to the foot of Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio), who guided it into the back of the net. Natalie Bechtel (Westlake, Ohio) also provided an assist on the play.
Ball State equalized early in the second half, scoring in a similar fashion. As Liston went up to collect a cross in the 52nd minute, she was jostled by players on both teams also going for the ball. Nicole Pembleton of Ball State capitalized on the confusion when the ball fell at her foot, sweeping it into the net for the tying goal.
As regulation time expired, the score was still 1-1. Ball State recorded seven of its 30 shots in the two 10-minute overtime periods and Liston managed to make two great stops to save the game. Ohio also had one good opportunity of its own in the second overtime period. During what appeared to be a routine clearance by the Ball State backline, Tonya Frasik (Lebanon, Ohio) tenaciously pestered the Cardinals to generate a turnover. She in turn passed the ball off to Veronica Rock (North Royalton, Ohio) who ripped a hard shot. The Ball State defense stepped up just in time, knocking it away before it could test Buehler.
Ohio will next be in action on Friday, Oct. 5 when Akron comes to town. The Bobcats and Zips will kick off from Chessa Field at 4 p.m.