ATHENS, Ohio— The Ohio women's soccer team (7-8-1, 4-3-1 MAC) plays their final home matches of the regular season this week when the team hosts Bowling Green (10-5, 5-3 MAC) and Toledo (7-6-3, 4-2-2 MAC). Ohio hosts the Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m. and follows up on Sunday, Oct. 22 for a 1 p.m. matchup against the Rockets. Sunday's matchup will serve as Ohio's Senior Day.
"Looking forward to the weekend," head coach Aaron Rodgers said ahead of the contests. "This team has been working really well together and are excited to finish out our last two regular season games at home."
The Bobcats will be looking for seniors Allie Curry (six goals, two assists, 32 shots) and Hannah Jaggers (five goals, 45 shots). to continue leading the attack this weekend. The duo are two of the six seniors on Ohio's squad and Rodgers attributes the group's success this year to their collective leadership.
"We appreciate all that the seniors have given to this program and helping to set a culture that everyone in the program is equal and appreciated," Rodgers said. "They have really set a tone that all classes feel comfortable and part of the group from the first step on campus. This will live on for years to come."
Ohio is coming off a 2-1 overtime win on the road against Western Michigan last Friday (Oct. 13) and a 1-0 loss to Northern Illinois on Sunday (Oct. 15). The Bobcat's win over the Broncos featured Mandy Arnzen (Edgewood, Ky.) netting her first career goal. Remi Eades (New Albany, Ohio) scored the overtime game winner for Ohio. The Bobcats recorded 10 shots with three on goal. Sydney Malham (Nashville, Tenn.) stood in goal, recording five saves and allowing one goal on six shots.
Sunday's contest saw the Huskies of NIU gain the lead in the 31st minute off a rebounded shot. The Bobcats fought hard to equalize but never found space in the final third, finishing with three shots with one on goal. Erin Beurket (Milford, Ohio) stood in goal for Ohio, recording three saves and allowing one goal on four shots.
HONORING THE SENIORS
Sunday will serve as this year's Senior Day, where the Bobcats will take the time to honor its six seniors. Those seniors are, Allie Curry, Celeste Fushimi-Karns, Bryce Hueber, Hannah Jaggers, Katie McCurley and Megan Niebuhr.
Bowling Green is currently sitting in second in the MAC-East behind Kent State and is on a three game winning streak. The Falcons are coming off a 3-2 come-from-behind victory against Buffalo on Friday and a 2-0 win against Akron on Sunday. Friday's match saw BGSU rally late in the second half off a hat trick from Skylar Fleak who scored in the 62nd, 75th and 82nd minutes to give her side the victory. Fleak's heroics would earn her the Mid-American Conference Play of the Week award. Sunday's win was secured by Madison Schupbach and Erica Hubert who scored in the 52nd and 57th minutes respectively.
The Falcons are led by Fleak who has 11 goals, five assists and 53 shots on the season through 14 games. Behind her is Hubert who has six goals, three assists and 63 shots through 15 games. In goal for BGSU are Victoria Cope (9-5-0, 17 goals allowed, 38 saves, 1.26 GAA, .691 save percentage, 1,1210 minutes) and Kathleen Duwve (1-0-0, one goal allowed, eight saves, 0.57 GAA, .889 save percentage, 156 minutes). The squad averages 2.13 goals per game and 17.4 shots per game.
LAST TIME AGAINST BGSU
Ohio fell 2-0 to the Falcons in 2016. BGSU took the lead in the 50th minute when Hubert found space down low in front of the goal to put her side up 1-0. Fleak would go on the score the insurance goal in the 75th minute when she headed in a free kick from Maureen Kennedy. Ohio managed to put up six of their 10 shots on frame but never got past the goalkeeper. Beurket was in goal and recorded three saves while allowing two goals. BGSU recorded 13 shots and put five on goal. Duwve stood in goal, recording four saves.
Toledo is currently third in the MAC-West behind Ball State and NIU. The Rockets are coming off a 4-2 win over Akron on Friday and a 1-0 loss to Buffalo on Sunday. Toledo got on the board early against Akron when Alena Sidwell scored in the 17th minute. Akron answered in the 23rd minute but Toledo responded with three more goals in the 40th, 47th and 67th minutes thanks to Sophia Lewis, Isa Echeverri and Lewis again. Akron fought hard and put one more ball in the net in the 78th but couldn't tie things up. Sunday's contest was evenly matched from both sides, with the lone goal coming from Buffalo in the 58th minute.
Hannah Scafaria is the top scorer for the Rockets with eight goals, one assist and 23 shots in 16 games followed by Echeverri with four goals, two assists and 29 shots in 16 games. Toledo's only goalkeeper this season has been Madison Perrin who has gone 7-5-3 with 22 goals allowed, 80 saves, a 1.30 GAA and a .784 save percentage with five shutouts through 1,517 minutes.
LAST TIME AGAINST TOLEDO
The Bobcats dropped last season's match against Toledo with a score of 2-1. The Rockets opened scoring the 18th minute off an unassisted goal from Kiersten Johnson. Alivia Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) recorded her first goal of the year in the 22nd minute to tie things up but Toledo was able to pull away in the 69th minute when Echeverri scored the game winner. Overall, Ohio finished with eight shots, putting four on net. Beurket recorded six saves and allowed two goals through 90 minutes. Toledo put up 17 shots, placing eighth on frame. Katie Wilson stood in goal and recorded three saves while allowing Ohio's only goal.
IN THE MAC
Ohio is third in the MAC-East behind Kent State and Bowling Green. The Bobcats are tied for sixth in shots with 97, registering 12.12 per game. Ohio is tied for second in points with 42, registering 5.25 per game while also being tied for second in goals with 14 (1.75 per game). The duo of Beurket and Malham are tied for third in shutouts with three (0.38 per game).
The Bobcats have been awarded the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 2016-17 school year. The Bobcats earned a 3.43 team grade point average. This is the seventh-straight year that the Bobcats have earned the honor, and the fifth time under current head coach, Aaron Rodgers.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ohio has swept the MAC Player of the Week awards. Jaggers was named the offensive player of the week for Sept. 25 while Malham took the defensive spot. Jaggers notched two game-winning goals over the weekend while recording five shots and four points in 112 minutes. Malham quickly found her spot on the Ohio squad and has been a brick wall in net. The freshman played all 180 minutes against Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, logging 14 saves, a .933 save percentage and a .50 GAA while earning one shutout and allowing one goal. Malham's play helped the Bobcats come out over EMU for the first time since 2011 and CMU for the first time since 2008.
The Bobcats play their final match of the regular season Thursday, Oct. 26 when the team travels to Kent State. First touch is set for 3 p.m.