Oct. 16, 2005
Box Score |
ATHENS, Ohio -
In front of a capacity crowd at Chessa Field, the Ohio women's soccer team took an early 1-0 lead but suffered an emotional 2-1 loss to Miami on Sunday.
With all four Bobcat seniors - Amy Elrod (Lee's Summit, Mo.), Holly Hinman (Madison, Wis.), Crystal Reed (Alexandria, Va.) and Sara Williams (Princeton, N.J.) - starting on Senior Day, Ohio took an early 1-0 lead when sophomore forward Lindsey Price (West Chester, Ohio) headed in a free kick by junior forward Larissa Najjar (Columbus, Ohio) in the 16th minute.
"I wasn't expecting Larissa to play the ball to me," said Price about her team-leading fourth goal of the season. "I just wanted to make sure I got to the ball before a defender could clear it out. When it came to me, I just headed it over the defender and it went in."
In the 25th minute of play, Miami midfielder Danielle Hays fed a ball to the right flank and the lineman's flag went up for an obvious offsides call. As the Bobcat defenders let their guard down, the referee allowed the play to continue and RedHawk midfielder Jennifer Rush took a shot that slipped through the hands of Ohio goalkeeper Katie Overmann (Batavia, Ohio) and dribbled across the goal line for an apparent score.
After a long consultation with Bobcat head coach Stacy Strauss and then with the linesman, the referee called the offsides and took away the goal. Then, following a lengthy discussion with Miami head coach Bobby Kramig, the referee once again allowed the goal to stand.
"It was clearly indicated by the linesman that the play was offsides but the center ref didn't blow his whistle because that player wasn't involved in the play," said Strauss about the strange turn of events. "The rules say if you're offsides and it doesn't affect the game, then it shouldn't be called so the argument that ensued was whether it affected the game. I thought it clearly affected the game because our players stopped playing and just that second of hesitation when you're defending makes all the difference."
Ohio continued to battle, however, and just 10 minutes later had a golden opportunity to retake the lead when Price was dragged down in the box. Junior forward Tiffany Horvath (Strongsville, Ohio), the Bobcats' best penalty kicker, stepped up and drilled a ball to the left that banged off the post, though, and the rebound shot by freshman midfielder Erika Schmitt (Wyoming, Ohio) also was off to the left.
"I thought that our team did a good job not to allow the Miami goal to affect our play," said Strauss. "We still played with intensity and were creating chances."
Early in the second half, however, Redhawk forward Kathleen Vistica slid a ball in front of Ohio's goal and midfielder Katie Boyd knocked it in, giving Miami a 2-1 advantage.
The Bobcats mounted numerous attacks over the final 40 minutes but just could not put the ball in the goal. One of the best chances came in the 52nd minute when Reed headed a corner kick but the ball shot just to the left of the goal. While sacrificing her body on the play, Reed re-aggravated a back injury and had to leave the game later in the half.
"My back has been bothering me all season and has been getting progressively worse," said the two-time All-MAC sweeper. "I went up for a header in the box and just fell wrong on my back so it cramped up. I tried to run it off but it just kept getting worse and worse and I didn't want to be a liability on defense."
For the match, Ohio held the advantage in shots (15-9), shots on goal (5-3) and corner kicks (5-2) but could not convert its opportunities into scores.
"We never want to lose but today, especially, we wanted to win for our seniors," said Price. "They are great leaders and we are going to miss them so much. We played with a lot of heart today but things just didn't go our way."
The Bobcats, who are 3-11-0 on the season and 1-7-0 in the Mid-American Conference, finish their season with three road games. They will play at Kent State on Oct. 21, at Buffalo on Oct. 23 and at Akron on Oct. 28 and must win all three matches to have an outside chance of placing in the top eight and qualifying for the MAC Tournament.