ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio women's soccer team (4-5-2, 2-1-1 MAC) returned to action on Sunday (Sept. 30), battling to a 1-1 tie against Mid-American Conference foe Ball State (5-3-2, 1-2-1 MAC) on Senior Day at Chessa Field.
"This group has been together all season," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "This has been such a fun group and they are always showing togetherness. That's one of the big things we continue to encourage. We have 27 people, and we really want them to drive that energy and I think we're getting closer and closer to that every day. I was very calm the whole match because I knew that we had the ability in us to get that goal back. We were much better in the second half than we were in the first half. I knew it was coming because we created chance after chance. I give credit to Ball State for being really gritty and fighting really hard, especially, when they went a woman down. However, our team also showed a lot of fight and grit to come back from that goal down."
The Cardinals outshot the Bobcats in the first half, recording seven shots, while the Bobcats only recorded five. The Bobcats first opportunity came in the 12thminute with a shot by Abby Townsend (Powell, Ohio), which was stopped by the Ball State keeper, who recorded one save in the first half. Bryce Hueber (Cincinnati, Ohio) took the next shot in the 20thminute which went just wide of the net.
Ball State registered three shots on goal before Ohio had another shot. Two of those were stopped by Erin Beurket (Milford, Ohio), and the third went wide of the net. Ohio's next shot was Townsend's second of the game, which was high of the net in the 29thminute.
The Cardinals' would strike first in the 30thminute, when Tatiana Mason scored to put Ball State up, 1-0.
Ohio attempted to retaliate with their next opportunity quickly after in the 31stminute by Alivia Milesky (Plain City, Ohio), however she was saved by the goalie. Ohio registered one last shot towards the end of the half, when Sydney Leckie (Medina, Ohio) fired the ball to the empty net and it bounced just over the top of the net.
At the half, Ohio recorded five shots with one on goal, while Ball State recorded seven shots with three on goal.
Three minutes into the second half Ball State's Julia Elvbo registered an attempt, giving Beurket her fourth save of the game.
Townsend would register her third shot of the game, but the ball was saved, allowing Milesky to collect the rebound and knock the ball into the left side of the net, appearing to tie the game. However, the play was called offside and the goal was waved, keeping the score, 1-0
The next shot was recorded by Townsend in the 70thminute, going to the top right of the net but would be snagged by the Ball State goalie. Soon after, another shot was registered by Rianna Reese (Liberty Township, Ohio), unfortunately it would be blocked.
The Bobcats would finally strike in the 85thminute when Madelyn Kah (Hamilton, Ohio) would pass the ball off to Sarina Dirrig (Powell, Ohio), who would then slide it off to a streaking Leckie, who would then burry it past the Ball State keeper, tying the game at 1-1.
Ball State would record the final attempt in regulation, on a ball that would go high of the net, sending the game to overtime with it tied at 1-1.
The Bobcats would record the first attempt on the first overtime, when Townsend sent the ball just wide of the net. Ball State would respond moments later on a ball that would force Beurket to make a save to keep the game tied at 1-1.
In the 99thminute, Ball State's Kennedy Metzger would be assessed her second yellow card of the game, which results in an automatic red card and ejection. Due to the red card, Ball State would be forced to play the remainder of the game with 10 players.
Ohio would record the last attempt of the game, also in the 99thminute, when Olivia Sensky (Powell, Ohio) fired the ball to the net, that would force a Ball State save, sending the game to the second overtime.
Townsend and Mandy Arnzen (Edgewood, Ky.) would both register attempts in the second overtime, however none of them would result in a goal. Dirrig would get the final attempt of the game in the 109thminute, but the Cardinal keeper would make the save and help end the game in the 1-1 tie.
Overall, Ohio registered 15 shots with seven on goal. Townsend registered seven shots with two on goal, while Leckies recorded one goal on two shots. Dirrig, Milesky, Sensky, Arnzen, Reese and Hueber all recorded attempts for the Bobcats, while Dirrig and Kah also added assists.
In net, Beurket allowed one goal and made seven saves in 110 minutes of action on her senior day.
Up next, the Bobcats remain in Athens for a MAC matchup with Akron on Thursday, Oct. 4. First touch is set for 4 p.m. at Chessa Field.