ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio Soccer picked up three important points in Mid-American Conference play on Friday afternoon, defeating the visiting Akron Zips by a final score of 3-2. Holly Harris scored two goals in the winning effort and the ‘Cats held on despite a furious finish by the visitors.
Friday’s game marked the first time that Ohio (7-5-1, 2-2-1 MAC) scored three goals since the 2010 season. The victory also equals the win total achieved in the 2011 season with at least six games remaining on the schedule.
The match was an offensive affair, with the teams combining for 34 total shots. Ohio was considerably more accurate with its chances, however, hitting eight on target compared to Akron’s five. Cathryn Rogers and Ashley Hughes led the way in total attempts for their two programs, as each student-athlete fired six shots in the match.
Ohio dominated much of the early possession, pressuring the Zips on multiple occasions. The Bobcats forced Akron goalkeeper Klaire Adee into three early saves, as Tonya Frasik (Lebanon, Ohio) hit one shot on target while Rogers (Etobicoke, Ontario) registered two in the first 23 minutes of play.
Sophomore Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio), helped turn the tide of the match with her 42nd-minute goal after the Zips were called for a handball about 40 yards out from their own net. Senior Veronica Rock (North Royalton, Ohio) played a beautiful lob into the box where Annie Beard (Mason, Ohio) awaited the ball. With the defense all around her, Beard managed to get the ball to the foot of Finley. Reacting quickly, Finley then slid the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the match.
Coming on as a substitute, Harris (Batavia, Ohio) changed the pace of the game with two goals. Harris had one screamer into the top-right corner from about 25 yards out after receiving a pass from Rogers. The senior was all over the field on Friday afternoon, adding a second assist to Harris when she played in a hard, low cross to the foot of the freshman. Harris finished off the play with a low shot with her left foot, making the score 3-0 in favor of the Bobcats.
After the 75th-minute goal, the Bobcats looked as if they were going to cruise through to the completion of the 90 minutes. The Zips had a little fight left in them, however, adding two goals in the final 13 minutes to make for a close finish. Akron goals from Amber Kern and Hughes made the score 3-2, but after the 86th-minute goal, the Bobcats controlled possession and allowed the clock to wind down.
Ohio will next be in action on Sunday, Oct. 7 against Buffalo. The Bobcats and Bulls will kick off from Chessa Field at 1 p.m.