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Bobcats Begin Extended Homestand on Friday

Ohio Soccer is riding a two-match winning streak heading into this weekend

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ATHENS, Ohio – Currently riding a two-match winning streak, Ohio Soccer gets back in action this weekend beginning on Friday afternoon. The Bobcats will host the Niagara Purple Eagles on Friday at 4 p.m. before welcoming the Cleveland State Vikings to Chessa Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Last Meeting
Cleveland State3
September 4, 2011
Cleveland, Ohio
Women's Soccer Falls 3-0 at Cleveland State
The Ohio women's soccer team was defeated 3-0 at Cleveland State in a non-conference match on Sunday afternoon. The Vikings scored all of their goals in the first half, led by a two-goal performance from Taylor Vidovic.

Ohio (2-3) is coming off its second straight shutout victory, having earned a 1-0 win at Morehead State on Aug. 31. Cathryn Rogers (Etobicoke, Ontario) scored the game-winning goal just when it appeared that the match was destined for overtime, finding the back of the net in the 88th minute. Junior goalkeeper Mattie Liston (Lakewood, Ohio) also played quite well in the win, making six saves to preserve the shutout. Following an 0-3 start to the season, the Bobcats have played very strong defense in their last two matches and have been very efficient with their scoring opportunities.

Be the 138th and 139th in program history
Be the 44th and 45th non-conference victories in program history
Be the 103rd and 104th victories in the career of Head Coach Stacy Strauss
Extend Ohio’s winning streak to three matches (last achieved in 2006)
Extend Ohio’s winning streak to four matches (last achieved in 2004)
Mark the first-ever victory over Niagara (first meeting)
Mark the program’s third victory over Cleveland State (sixth meeting)

Niagara enters Friday’s contest the owner of a 1-2 record. The Purple Eagles dropped their first two games of the year to Binghamton (1-0) and Duquesne (2-1) before beating Buffalo 1-0 in double overtime on Sunday afternoon. Niagara has scored two goals on 31 shots this season while allowing three goals on 47 attempts by the opposition.

Jamie Raepple and Danielle Kennedy have scored the Purple Eagles’ two goals of the season, with the former leading the team in shots (7). Maria Siegrist-Gabas and Kayla Picano have provided the two assists on the season, with each of these student-athletes having a hand in one of the team’s goals. Minding the net for Niagara will be Claire Feiertag, who has posted a 0.93 goals-against average and a .833 save percentage. Feiertag has allowed three goals while making 15 saves and earning one shutout.

Friday’s match is the first-ever meeting between the Ohio and Niagara soccer programs. This is Ohio’s only match of the season which involves a first-time meeting.

Cleveland State enters the weekend with a 2-3 record and will host Akron Friday before traveling to Athens on Sunday. The Vikings have picked up wins against Bowling Green (2-1) and IUPUI (5-1) and have lost to Kent State (2-0), Eastern Illinois (3-2) and Canisius (3-0). Two of Cleveland State’s games have been decided in overtime, as the Vikings picked up their win at Bowling Green and fell at Eastern Illinois after regulation time.

Jaime Avona leads the way for Cleveland State, having scored three goals on 11 total shots. She is followed closely by Valerie Stahl, who has found the back of the net twice and has contributed one assist to the scoring effort. The Vikings boast a balanced offensive attack, as six different student-athletes have scored the team’s 10 goals.

Sarah Wood and Becca Coleman have been splitting time in goal, with Wood earning three starts. Wood allows 2.00 goals per match and has a save percentage of .724 while Coleman has posted a 1.81 GAA and a save percentage of .600.

Sunday’s match will be the sixth meeting in the history of the series, which has its roots in the 2005 season. Cleveland State has been in the ascendancy over the past two seasons, having not lost to the Bobcats since 2009. The Bobcats and the Vikings last met on Sept. 4 of the 2011 season, with Cleveland State earning a 3-0 win at home. Ohio is 2-1 all-time against the Vikings at Chessa Field.

Midfielder Cathryn Rogers has been on fire lately for the Bobcats. The senior has scored four of Ohio’s five goals this season, including the team’s last three. Rogers has propelled the ‘Cats to two wins in a row, netting the game-winning goals in each of Ohio’s last two games. Furthermore, when Rogers scores, Ohio is 7-2 all-time.

Since giving up the third goal of the match at DePaul on Aug. 24, Ohio’s defense has been in lockdown mode. The Bobcats have not allowed a goal in 225 consecutive minutes.

Despite being outshot in each of its five games, Ohio has been very opportunistic with its scoring opportunities. The Bobcats have scored on 11.6 percent of their shots (5/43) while Bobcat opponents are converting at a 10.5 percent clip (8/76).

A new supporters group has emerged at Chessa Field. The Athens Army, founded by O Zone president Tony Keffer, is doing its part to bring an exciting atmosphere to home Ohio Soccer matches. Read about the group here (via The Post) and find the Athens Army on Twitter here.