ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio Women’s Soccer prepares for two important Mid-American Conference East Division tests this weekend, as the Bobcats are set to host Akron Friday and Buffalo on Sunday. The Bobcats and Zips will kick off at 4 p.m. while Ohio and Buffalo will do battle on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Bobcats are coming off a weekend of two home matches where they fell to Miami (1-0) and drew Ball State (1-1) in double overtime. Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio) scored Ohio’s lone goal of the weekend, finding the back of the net for the first time this season and the first time in her career. Junior goalkeeper Mattie Liston (Lakewood, Ohio) had a strong weekend for the Green and White, stopping 17 shots in the two matches.
Ohio is currently tied for second in the MAC East and eighth overall with four points through four league matches. Miami and Eastern Michigan are the lone unbeaten teams in the league, as each program is currently sitting on spotless 4-0 records. Akron, Bowling Green and Buffalo are the three teams yet to record a win in MAC play.
WINS THIS WEEKEND WOULD… Be the 142nd and 143rd wins 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 at Ohio Be the eighth all-time win over Akron (12th meeting) Be the first win over Akron since 2008 Be the ninth all-time win over Buffalo (16th meeting) Make the Bobcats unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Bulls
DOUBLE DIGITS With her game-winning goal at Bowling Green on Sept. 21, senior forward Erin Schwenke (Solon, Ohio) is only one goal away from having scored 10 in her Bobcat career. Throughout her time in Athens, Schwenke has hit her shots on target a high percentage of the time, with 46 of her 75 shots (61.3 percent) having been on frame.
GOALKEEPING RECORDS Mattie Liston remains on pace to have her name featured prominently in Ohio Soccer’s record book. The junior goalkeeper has made 251 saves in her career, meaning just 34 more will make her the all-time leader in program history. Her career save percentage of .807 currently ranks second all-time; her career goals against average of 1.22 ranks third in program history and her 15 shutouts also rank third all-time.
BETTER THAN MANY Known for its strong defense this season, Ohio’s goals against average of 0.98 currently ranks tied for fourth in the Mid-American Conference. Only Northern Illinois (0.70), Miami (0.74) and Western Michigan (0.88) have conceded fewer goals per 90 minutes.
COACH STRAUSS SPEAKS ABOUT THE DEFENSE
POSTGAME AUTOGRAPH SESSION Following Sunday’s match with Buffalo, the Bobcats will be hosting a postgame autograph session for their fans. The autograph session will be held in front of the main bleacher section at Chessa Field.
PREVIEWING THE ZIPS Akron comes into Friday’s matchup the owner of a 4-7 (0-4 MAC) record. The Zips have scored 12 goals while allowing 20 and are currently in last place in the MAC. Akron is currently on a five-match losing streak which began on Sept. 16 against Marshall and has included losses to Miami (4-1), Ball State (2-1), Northern Illinois (1-0) and Toledo (2-1).
The Zips are led in scoring by Ashley Hughes, who has scored four goals and dished out three assists for a total of 11 points. Not far behind her is Megan Waskowski, who has scored three goals while also providing three assists. Akron has played a two-goalie system throughout this season, with Alex Luevano-Harden playing a majority of the minutes. The redshirt sophomore goalkeeper has posted two shutouts while generating a goals against average of 1.58 and a save percentage of .800.
OHIO – AKRON SERIES HISTORY Friday’s match will be the 12th all-time meeting between Ohio and Akron. The Bobcats hold a 7-4 edge in the series which dates back to the 2001 season. Ohio has lost the last three meetings in the series, including a 1-0 overtime loss at Akron during the 2011 season. The Bobcats began the series against the Zips with four straight wins from 2001-2004, outscoring Akron 8-0 in these matches. Ohio holds a 4-1 edge in matches against Akron played in Athens.
PREVIEWING THE BULLS Buffalo enters the third MAC weekend of the season with a 2-8-2 record which includes an 0-3-1 mark in conference play. The Bulls are currently on a five-match winless streak and most recently played Northern Illinois to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 30. Buffalo has scored eight goals while allowing 16 this season. Prior to visiting Ohio on Sunday, the Bulls will play at Kent State on Friday afternoon.
Katie Roberts leads the way for the Bulls, having scored three goals and contributing one assist to the offensive effort. She is the only multiple-goal scorer on the team to this point in the season. Taylor Thompson ranks second on the tem in points with four (one goal, two assists). Minding the net for Buffalo is Ainsley Wheldon, who has posted an impressive 1.17 goals against average with a save percentage of .768.
OHIO – BUFFALO SERIES HISTORY Sunday’s match will be the 16th all-time meeting between Ohio and Buffalo. Ohio holds an 8-6-1 edge in the series, which has its roots in the 1998 season. Ohio hasn’t experienced defeat against Buffalo since the 2005 season, winning or drawing the last six matches. In the last meeting between the teams, the Bobcats and Bulls played to a 1-1 draw in Athens.