KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Senior forward Christel Schiering continues to move up the Mid-American Conference scoring charts but the Ohio women’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision at Western Michigan on Friday.
Amy Letzgus gave the Broncos (3-5-1, 2-2-0 MAC) a 1-0 lead on a goal assisted by Chantal Robinson 18:55 into the first half. For the second time in three games, Melissa Parra replaced Michelle Meglaughlin in Ohio’s goal at the break.
The Bobcats (4-5-0, 2-2-0 MAC) quickly retaliated in the second half when Schiering followed up a Sara Williams shot at the 45:44 mark for her fourth goal of the season. The score moved Schiering into a tie for fifth place on the conference charts for all-time career points with 89. The Cincinnati native now stands one goal shy (39) of moving into a tie for third in the MAC’s career goals scored category.
“Sara was behind their defense out wide and she took a good firm shot near post,” said Ohio head coach Stacy Strauss. “The keeper gave up the rebound and Christel ran through and finished it.”
The goal was answered two minutes later, however, when Western Michigan’s Jessica Pattison found the Bobcat net off the rebound of a Parra save in the 48th minute.
After both teams took four shots in the first half, Ohio managed 10 to the Broncos’ five in the second half. The Bobcats also held advantages in corner kicks (10-4) and fouls (6-22) in the contest.
“We just weren’t able to finish on some opportunities,” said Strauss. “We definitely controlled the play but we made a couple of errors defensively and paid the price.”
Ohio is also paying the price in terms of injuries. It started during the offseason when one of the most talented Bobcats, Andrea Massarella, suffered a knee injury and decided not to return to the team. Then, as the season began, returning All-MAC second teamer Crystal Reed decided to sit out the season while battling the lingering effects of mononucleosis.
More recently, senior tri-captain Carolyn Valade was forced to miss two contests following a concussion in Ohio’s MAC opener at Akron. And then on Sunday, freshman Amy Switzer suffered a season-ending knee injury during play against Marshall.
“We do not have much depth right now,” admitted Strauss, the Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association’s 2002 Division I Coach of the Year. “We are using people in positions they haven’t really played since preseason so there’s been some adjustment.”
The Bobcats will have the opportunity to bounce back on Sunday when they face a Northern Illinois (1-7-0, 0-4-0) team that has lost its last four matches, all in conference play. That match is set for noon (CDT).