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Soccer Hosts Kent State in Regular Season Finale

Freshman forward Allison Cislo has totaled six points in her freshman campaign, including three goals to tie for second on the team.

Oct. 30, 2013


Thursday vs. Kent State (3 p.m.) - Live Stats

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio University soccer team (7-6-5, 3-4-3 MAC) hosts Kent State University (11-7-0, 6-4-0 MAC) in its regular season finale on Thursday at Chessa Field. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m.

In addition to several regular season milestones, 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament seeding will be on the line for the Bobcats.

Fans who are unable to attend Thursday's match can follow can still follow along via the live stats link included above. Also, follow the program's official Twitter account (@OhioWSoccer).

Ohio clinched a berth in the upcoming 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament. A goal by sophomore forward Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio) in the 88th minute lifted Ohio to a 2-1 triumph at Toledo last Friday. The Bobcats lost their final regular season road match, 2-1, at Northern Illinois on Sunday.

Ohio makes its fifth straight MAC Tournament appearance and 15th in program history Sunday when it takes to the road for a conference quarterfinal match. The contest will begin at 1 p.m.

The eight-team 2013 MAC Tournament field is set, but jockeying for seeding will continue on the final day of the regular season, with a number of scenarios still in play. MAC Tournament seeding is determined by the number of points a team accumulates during league play. Teams are awarded three points for a win and one point for a tie. Holding 12 points with one regular season match to play, Ohio could finish as high as the No. 7 seed. A win and a Northern Illinois loss to Toledo would secure the No. 7 seed in the MAC Tournament for the Bobcats.

1. Western Michigan - 23 points
2. Eastern Michigan - 22 points
3. Miami - 21 points
4. Central Michigan - 21 points
5. Kent State - 18 points
6. Ball State - 17 points
7. Northern Illinois - 14 points
8. Ohio - 12 points

Ohio's 2-1 victory at Toledo last Friday cemented several milestones for the Bobcats under first-year head coach Aaron Rodgers and his staff. The victory was Ohio's fifth road triumph - the most wins away from home for the Bobcats since 2004. Ohio won just two road matches in 2012. The win also ensured the program of its first non-losing season since 2009.

In addition to keeping the opportunity to clinch the MAC Tournament's No. 7 seed a possibility, a win over Kent State on Thursday would clinch Ohio's first winning season since going 9-8-2 in 2009. A victory would also make the Bobcats .500 in conference play, marking the program's first non-losing MAC season since finishing 6-3-2 in 2009. Six losses would be Ohio's fewest in a regular season since dropping four contests in 2002.

Ohio surrendered a goal to Niagara junior forward Catherine Meyer at 68:12 on Sept. 6. The Bobcats did not allow another second-half goal until last Friday, when Eastern Michigan senior midfield Cara Cutaia found the back of the net at 78:22 -- an incredible 499:10 of play without allowing a goal. Ohio has given up just eight goals in the second half the entire season and has yet to give up a golden goal in overtime.

The Bobcats have held the opposition scoreless in the first half in each of the last three matches.

Ohio's five ties in 2013 rank as the most in program history. The previous record for ties in a single season was four, set by the 2010 team. The five ties pace the MAC.

Senior goalkeeper Mattie Liston (Lakewood, Ohio) has put together an impressive list of accomplishments in her four-years in goal for the Bobcats.

Liston tallied 13 saves in last Friday's 2-1 victory at Toledo, surpassing former Eastern Michigan goalkeeper Monique Budani (2007-10) for fifth place on the MAC's all-time saves list. Liston currently has 394 career stops to her credit -- including 98 this season, which ranks second in the MAC.

Liston totaled 22 saves over two matches two weeks ago - including matching her career high of 15 saves on Oct. 18 against Eastern Michigan - and faced 25 shots on goal. With the Sunday shutout of Western Michigan two days later, Liston broke Ohio's record for most career shutouts by a goalkeeper with 20.

Liston became Ohio's all-time single-season saves leader with 112 in 2012. She has started 69 of the 71 matches she has appeared in over her four-year career in net in Bobcats, with her 69 starts ranking as the most by a goalkeeper and eighth overall in school history. She has logged the most minutes in goal of any goalkeeper in Ohio soccer history.

Through 18 matches in 2013, the Bobcats have shown great improvement when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net. After scoring 17 goals in 19 matches last season, the Bobcats already have eclipsed that total with 25 goals in 2013.

Nine different student-athletes have combined to account for 23 of Ohio's 25 goals in 2013.

Sophomore forward Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio) and junior forward Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio) pace the squad with four goals apiece. Freshman forward Allison Cislo (Crownsville, Md.), redshirt freshman midfield Carly Manso (Vernon Hills, Ill.), freshman forward Alexis Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) and senior midfield/forward Maggie Murnane (Libertyville, Ill.) have each tallied three goals. Junior midfield Erin Feeney (Milton, Mass.), freshman midfield Mollie Whitacre (Perrysburg, Ohio) and redshirt freshman Sasha Haverchak (Akron, Ohio) have each recorded a goal.

Sophomore forward Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio) found the back of the net on a breakaway in the 88th minute to lift Ohio to a 2-1 win at Toledo last Friday, marking the fourth game-winning goal of her career.

The goal marked Harris' fourth of the season, matching her with junior forward Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio), who tallied the equalizer in the 66th minute at Toledo, for the team lead. The goals was the eighth of Harris' career and sixth of Finley's.

Harris is tied with redshirt freshman midfield Carly Manso (Vernon Hills, Ill.) for the team lead in points (11) while Finley is tied for fourth on the squad with eight. Harris leads the team in shots (45) and shots on goal (24).

The key student-athlete in Ohio's second half comeback against Bowling Green was redshirt freshman midfield Carly Manso (Vernon Hills, Ill.), who notched a career-high five points in the stanza on a goal and two assists. With the Bobcats trailing, 1-0, Manso played a perfect ball to sophomore forward Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio) to grab an assist on the game-tying goal in the second half. Manso again fed a good ball to post an assist on Ohio's go-ahead goal, then rifled home a penalty shot to register the third goal for the `Cats.

Manso assisted on the goal by freshman forward Allison Cislo (Crownsville, Md.) in the 69th minute that allowed the Bobcats to earn a 2-2 draw on Oct. 11 at Akron. She scored Ohio's lone goal in the 2-1 loss at Northern Illinois on Sunday.

Manso is tied with Harris for the team lead with 11 points this season. She leads the Bobcats with five assists and has tallied three goals in 2013.

Freshman forward Alexis Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) has made an immediate impact for Ohio in her first year on campus.

Her first half goal on Oct. 4 at Miami helped the Bobcats secure a tie in Oxford. She assisted on the game-tying goal by junior forward Liz Finley (Mason, Ohio) in the 66th minute in last Friday's 2-1 victory at Toledo.

Milesky is tied for third on the team with eight points and is tied for second on the team with three goals. She has also tallied three assists.

On June 25, Milesky won a national championship with her U18 Elite Clubs National League side, the Ohio Premier Eagles. Milesky scored the game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rush. Her goal was assisted by future Mid-American Conference foe Brooke Maletic (Toledo).

Senior midfield/forward Maggie Murnane (Libertyville, Ill.) assisted on the first goal of the match two weeks ago at Akron -- a shot from the far right wing by sophomore forward Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio) to help Ohio earn a 2-2 draw. It marked Murnane's second assist of the season.

Murnane, who is in her second season with the Bobcats after transferring from Dayton, is tied for fourth on the squad with eight points and is tied for second on the team with three goals. She has totaled five goals and four assists during her time in Athens.

Freshman forward Allison Cislo (Crownsville, Md.) scored the tying goal in the 69th minute on Oct. 11 at Akron, allowing Ohio to earn a 2-2 draw and marking the second straight game the rookie tallied a goal.

Cislo has totaled six points in her freshman campaign, including three goals to tie for second on the team.

Led by 13th-year head coach Rob Marinaro, Kent State was projected to finish second in the MAC East Division in the 2013 preseason poll, which is exactly where the Golden Flashes will finish in the standings. Kent State currently occupies the No. 5 spot in the MAC Tournament seeding, which is as high as the Flashes can finish no matter what happens on the final day of the regular season. Kent State could finish as low as the No. 6 seed. The Golden Flashes have won four of their last six matches. Kent State finished last weekend with an 1-1-0 mark, bouncing back from a 2-1 loss at Northern Illinois on Friday with a 3-1 triumph at Toledo two days later.

Senior forward/midfield Jessacca Gironda is tied with Northern Illinois senior forward Rachel MacLeod for the MAC lead in points (29; 1.61 per game) and goals (12; 0.67 per game). As a team, the Golden Flashes rank fourth in the MAC in goals (26) and goals per game (1.44) while ranking second in assists (33) and assists per game (1.83). Sophomore goalkeeper Stephanie Senn ranks fifth in the conference with 72 saves.

Ohio leads the all-time series over Kent State, 11-7-0. The Golden Flashes have won four of the last five meetings, though, including two in a row. Kent State blanked the Bobcats, 3-0, last season.

The Bobcats put together an impressive defensive streak from Sept. 8-27, as Ohio did not allow a goal in more than 290 minutes of action. The streak lasted from the first half of the Sept. 8 match vs. Morehead State to the first half of the Sept. 27 match vs. Bowling Green.

From Sept. 1-Sept. 27, the Bobcats put together a six-match unbeaten streak in which they out-scored their opponents, 14-4. After averaging 1.0 goals per game over the season's first three matches, Ohio exploded for 2.3 goals per contest during the surge and held a 101-40 edge over its opponents in shots.

Senior midfielder Maggie Murnane (Libertyville, Ill.) was named to the CollegeSportsMadness.com Preseason All-Mid-American Conference Team on Aug. 6. Murnane started all 19 games of the 2012 season, scoring two goals and dishing out two assists.

In a preseason poll of the Mid-American Conference's head coaches, Ohio was selected to finish third in the East Division ahead of Akron, Buffalo, and Bowling Green. Toledo was tabbed to win the West and Miami was picked to win the East and the MAC Tournament.

The 2013 season will mark the beginning of Aaron Rodgers' career as a head coach. The Texas native spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach in charge of goalkeepers at the University of Kentucky.

With the addition of Elizabeth Woerle as a second assistant coach, the Ohio University soccer team completed a unique coaching situation. The Bobcat coaching staff is the only one in the Mid-American Conference which is comprised entirely of former professional players.