ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio women's soccer team (4-5-1, 2-1) returned to Chessa Field for the first time in three weeks to continue Mid-American Conference play on Friday (Sept. 28) The Bobcats came out strong, defeating Miami (2-7-1, 0-3), 1-0.
"I'm happy with the result, the MAC is always very difficult and every team comes to battle," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "I think we showed some grittiness today. We created a lot of really good chances, hopefully we'll be able to finish a couple more of those on Sunday and keep a clean sheet. Shutouts are fantastic, if you don't allow the other team to score then you have a great chance to win. I'm very proud of the effort and it's something to build on because we want to keep getting better and better every game as we go through the conference."
The Bobcats outshot the RedHawks in the first half, recording three shots in the first 20 minutes. Their first opportunity came in the seventh minute when senior midfielder Madelyn Kah (Hamilton, Ohio) took a shot. Abby Townsend (Powell, Ohio), a freshman forward, took the next shot off of the goal post before Alivia Milesky's header shot was blocked by the goalie.
Ohio registered one more shot on goal, this time from graduate student Maria Collica (Solon, Ohio), before Miami registered two shots, both by Bianca Medancic, in the 24thminute.
Kah recorded the next two attempts in the 27thand 28thminutes, but neither found the net. Junior Victoria Breeden (Hudson, Ohio) took the next shot, but almost 34 minutes in, the game remained scoreless.
The RedHawks' Desiree Grubbs took the next shot in the 38thminute, but goalie Sydney Malham (Nashville, Tenn.) prevented Miami from taking the lead. Neither team would score, and the game would head to the half tied at 0-0.
At the half, Ohio recorded eight shots with six on goal, while Miami recorded three shots with one on goal.
Seventeen seconds into the second period, Milesky recorded the first shot of the half, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Miami's Kristina DeMarco took the next shot in the 48thminute, giving Malham another save.
In the 56thminute, Townsend broke away and gave the Bobcats the 1-0 lead early in the second half. Townsend would receive the ball from Milesky and breakaway down the field, beating the Miami defender and pushing the ball to the left of the diving keeper.
Miami continued to fight; recording two shots within two minutes of each other, but neither found the net as the Bobcats successfully maintained their lead.
Miami recorded three more shots in the 73rd, 74thand 76thminutes, respectively, but couldn't get past Ohio's defense to tie up the game.
The Bobcats' Sydney Leckie (Medina, Ohio) and Rianna Reese (Liberty Twp., Ohio) both tried to grab insurance goals in the 80thand 81stminutes, but both were wide. Malham grabbed her fifth save of the game in the 88thminute, successfully preserving the Bobcat's 1-0 victory.
Overall, Ohio recorded 13 shots with seven on goal, while Miami recorded 10, with five on goal. Townsend recorded a goal on two shots, while Kah also recorded three attempts. Milesky registered three attempts and one assist.
In net, Malham was solid, recording five saves and not allowing a goal in her 90 minutes of action.
Up next, Ohio returns to Chessa Field on Sunday, Sept. 30 when the Bobcats host Ball State. First touch is set for 1 p.m. Get to the field early, as Sunday will serve as the Bobcats Senior Day, with a special pregame ceremony before the start of the game.