HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — The Ohio women's soccer team hit the road to Northern Kentucky this evening for its lone exhibition match of the preseason, falling to the Norse by the final of 1-0.
"Today was a very good game to finish our preseason," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "NKU is a very experienced team and the reigning Horizon League champions. We had some excellent moments in both the first and second half that showed what we are capable of. This game was a conclusion of a wonderful team retreat that we grew as a group and were able to create core values and team goals. We are excited about the season."
The game opened with Ohio making their presence known when Sara Kattainen (Tampere, Finland) and Alivia Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) were both called for fouls. NKU registered the first shot of the match but Ohio's back line was able to wick it out of the goal mouth. The Norse kept the pressure up, sending in a corner and setting up two headers, however starting keeper Erin Beurket (Milford, Ohio) fought them off, keeping Ohio alive. Moments later the Bobcats were able to flip the field and pressure Emily Lohmann where Bryce Hueber (Cincinnati, Ohio) took a try but sent her shot just over the crossbar.
Fourteen minutes later in the 37th minute, after strong back and forth play from both teams, the Norse, the reigning Horizon League champions, opened scoring. Jessica Frey picks up a ground pass from Macy Hamblin in the left side of the 18-yard box and puts it just right of Beurket. At the half NKU would lead 1-0 with seven shots, one corner and four fouls to Ohio's two shots, one corner, two fouls and two saves.
The second saw newcomer Sydney Malham (Nashville, Tenn.) step in between the sticks in her Ohio Bobcat debut. Malham ultimately ended with a clean sheet but not before being thoroughly tested; the Norse put four shots on frame in the second and Malham registered all four saves. The Bobcats took four shots in the second but could never equalize before the final whistle. In total, Bobcats record six shots (one SOG), two corners, six saves and the Norse record one goal, 12 shots (seven SOG), two corners, six fouls, one save.
Top shooters for Ohio were Milesky with two shots, Allie Curry (Fairfield, Ohio) with one shot one SOG, Bryce Hueber with one shot, Paige Knorr (Cincinnati, Ohio) with one shot and Hannah Jaggers (Taylorsville, Ky.) with one shot. Keeper Buerket recorded two saves on seven shots faced, allowing one. Malham recorded four saves on five shots faced.
Up next, the Bobcats are set to host their season opener on Friday, Aug. 18 against Robert Morris at Chessa Field. Kickoff is set at 4 p.m.