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Bobcats Begin Homestand with Miami, Ball State

Mattie Liston

Sept. 27, 2012

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ATHENS, Ohio – A winner of six of its last seven matches, Ohio Soccer prepares to host its first Mid-American Conference home games this weekend. The Bobcats will kick off a four-match homestand on Friday at 4 p.m. against rival Miami before welcoming Ball State to Chessa Field at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

Ohio extended its winning streak to six straight matches on Friday at Bowling Green, defeating the Falcons on a rainy and windy night by a final score of 1-0. Erin Schwenke’s goal at the outset of the second half proved the difference in Ohio’s first MAC game of the season. On Sunday in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., Ohio held the high-flying Central Michigan offense to one goal in a 1-0 loss.

Be the 142nd and 143rd in program history
Be the 89th and 90th Mid-American Conference wins in program history
Be the 107th and 108th wins of Head Coach Stacy Strauss’ career
Be the fifth and sixth straight wins at Chessa Field
Be the ninth win in the all-time series with Miami (19th meeting)
Break a three-match losing streak to the RedHawks
Be the 10th win in the all-time series with Ball State (16th meeting)
Extend Ohio’s unbeaten streak against Ball State to four matches

Dating back to last season, Ohio is unbeaten in its last six matches at Chessa Field. The Bobcats have posted a 5-0-1 mark in these six matches, with all four home games this sending ending with the Bobcats emerging victorious. Ohio is one of only two MAC schools which is unbeaten at home this season (Central Michigan, 2-0).

Through two conference matches, Ohio (6-4, 1-1 MAC) ranks second place in the Eastern Division with three points. The Bobcats trail only Miami (six points) in the East. In terms of complete league standings, Ohio ranks fifth, behind Miami (six points), Central Michigan (six), Eastern Michigan (six) and Ball State (six).

Ohio has continued to play strong defense through this point in the 2012 season. The Bobcats are giving up only one goal per contest, a statistic which ranks fourth in the Mid-American Conference. Only Northern Illinois (0.78 goals allowed per match), Miami (0.70) and Kent State (0.89) allow fewer goals per game.

The Bobcats’ last seven games have had a big role in this defensive prowess, as Ohio has allowed only two goals in the last 630 minutes of play, or 0.29 goals per match since the Aug. 24 game at DePaul.

Ohio also ranks atop the league in total shutouts, with five. Miami and Central Michigan have also recorded five clean sheets on the season.

Junior goalkeeper Mattie Liston (Lakewood, Ohio) has had a strong season in net for the Bobcats, posting a save percentage of .841 and a goals against average of 1.05. Her 50 saves rank second in the league, only behind Jenna O’Dell’s 59. Liston has now made 234 saves in her Bobcat career, ranking her second in program history. She is only 50 behind the career leader, Vanessa Dennis, who made 284 saves in her career which spanned the 1998-01 seasons.

Both of this weekend’s matches at Chessa Field are promotional days for Bobcat fans. Friday’s match against Miami will serve as Faculty/Staff Day, where every Ohio University faculty/staff member present will receive a free gift at the entrance gate. Thunderstix and inflatable games will also be provided on Friday.

Sunday will serve as the O’Bleness Rufus Kids Club/Youth Day. At the game on Sunday, there will be a pregame party for members of the O’Bleness Rufus Kids Club. There will also be inflatable games for children at the stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Miami enters Friday’s contest as one of the hottest teams in the Mid-American Conference, having won its last three consecutive matches. The RedHawks are 8-2 on the season with a 2-0 mark in MAC play. So far in 2012, Miami has posted a strong offensive and defensive effort, scoring 29 goals (11 more than second place in the MAC) while allowing only seven (tied for league lead).

Jess Kodiak is leading the way offensively for the RedHawks, scoring six goals and dishing out four assists to score 16 total points. This ranks second in the league, just two points behind Jaclyn Dutton of Kent State. Haley Walter and Kelsey Dinges are not far behind Kodiak, each having notched five goals this season. Nine different student-athletes have scored the RedHawks’ 29 goals, with four RedHawks having scored four goals or more.

Allison Norenberg minds the net for the RedHawks and has made 24 saves while allowing seven goals. She has posted a goals against average of 0.72 and a save percentage of .774.

Friday’s match will be the 19th meeting in the all-time series between Ohio and Miami. The RedHawks hold a 10-8 advantage in the series which has its roots in the 1997 season. Miami has won the last three meetings between the two programs, with Ohio last earning a victory over the RedHawks during the 2008 season. Ohio holds a 5-4 advantage in the nine meetings played at Chessa Field.

Ball State enters the second conference weekend of the season with a 5-3-2 record which includes a 2-0 mark in MAC play. The Cardinals are currently tied atop the conference and are on a two-game winning streak. Ball State has scored 13 goals this season while allowing 12. Before coming to Athens on Sunday, Ball State will play at Kent State on Friday afternoon.

Jasmine Moses leads the way offensively for Ball State, having scored three goals to register six points. Nicole Pembleton is close at her heels, as she’s scored two goals and provided one assist thus far in 2012. The Cardinals boast a balanced scoring attack, with nine players combining to score the team’s 13 goals.

Aubrey Buehler minds the net for the Cardinals and has made 36 saves while allowing 12 goals. She has posted a goals against average of 1.17 and a save percentage of .750.

Sunday’s match will be the 16th all-time meeting between Ohio and Ball State. The Bobcats hold a 9-4-2 advantage in the series which has its roots in the 1999 season. Ohio is unbeaten in the last three matches against the Cardinals, having not lost to the program since the 2008 season. In their last meeting, Ohio and Ball State played two a double-overtime 1-1 draw in Muncie on Oct. 9 of last season. Ohio is 6-2 all-time against the Cardinals at Chessa Field.