ATHENS, Ohio – For the second straight match, the Ohio women’s soccer team played to a double-overtime tie, this time a 0-0 affair against Mid-American Conference preseason favorite Western Michigan at Chessa Field on Sunday. The Bobcats (0-4-2 overall, 0-0-2 in the MAC) tied Northern Illinois 1-1 in a Friday home contest.
Ohio goalkeeper Michelle Meglaughlin made six saves against the Broncos (4-1-1, 1-0-1 MAC) for her first shutout of the season and the 12th of her career. The senior from Westfield, N.J., received ample help from Bobcat sweeper Crystal Reed (Alexandria, Va.) and outside backs Sara Williams (Princeton, N.J.) and Larissa Najjar (Columbus).
“We certainly could have come away with the win but it was an evenly played game,” said Ohio head coach Stacy Strauss. “I was happy to get our first shutout of the year. We stayed organized, Reed played very well and Michelle kept her focus through the whole game.”
Western Michigan out-shot the Bobcats 28-17 and 9-6 in shots on goal. Andrea Tyler took six shots for the Broncos while Kelly Prandi (Strongsville) led Ohio with five shots, two on goal.
“We were just trying to create chances,” said Strauss about the Bobcat attack. “We wanted our outside mids to get a little bit wider and we created a lot of serves. We worked quite a bit on finishing serves throughout the week but we just weren’t able to do it in the game today.”
The play was physical as Western Michigan was called for 17 fouls and a yellow card while Ohio drew eight fouls and two yellow cards.
“Their forwards were pretty fast so we were just trying to keep them in front of us,” said Williams. “If they got by, we tried to force them wide and keep them out. There was a lot of pushing back and forth so it was pretty difficult.”
The Bobcats play six of their next seven matches on the road, starting at Bowling Green on Friday. They will travel to Toledo on Sept. 19 before hosting Akron on Sept. 24.