BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Despite two goals from senior Alivia Milesky, the Ohio soccer team (11-9-1) saw their season come to an end Friday night (Nov. 8), falling to No. 7 Eastern Michigan (8-11-2), 5-2, in the Mid-American Conference Semifinals.
"Congratulations to EMU for getting the win," head coach Aaron Rodgers said. "They played a very good game tonight. We fought throughout the game and created a number of good chances requiring their goalkeeper to make 13 saves. In the end it wasn't enough. I cannot say enough about this senior class and what they meant for this program. They left a legacy that will be felt for years to come."
The Bobcats opened the game up on fire, with sophomore Abby Townsend (Powell, Ohio) recording the first attempt, which was blocked by the EMU defense. Moments later, junior Sarina Dirrig (Powell, Ohio) registered her own attempt. However, the ball went just right of the goal.
In the sixth minute, Ohio kept putting pressure on the EMU defense, this time with senior Victoria Breeden (Hudson, Ohio) firing a shot at the goal, forcing a save from the EMU keeper.
Despite the Ohio pressure, the Eagles struck first when Amanda Cripps scored in the 12th minute to give EMU an early 1-0 lead.
It would not take long for the Bobcats to respond. In the 18th minute, Milesky (Plain City, Ohio) received the ball from fellow senior Sydney Leckie (Medina, Ohio) and then buried it to the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1.
�������� pic.twitter.com/9FMwS7Pbxg— Ohio Soccer (@OhioWSoccer) November 9, 2019
Moments later, EMU recorded another attempt, however the ball missed left, keeping the game at 1-1.
Eastern Michigan recorded a shot in the 25th minute, which went high of the net. Moments later, Milesky and junior Jenni Santacaterina (Geneva, Ill.) both recorded attempts which forced back-to-back saves to keep the game at 1-1.
After another shot from EMU that forced a save by junior goal keeper Sydney Malham (Nashville, Tenn.), the Bobcats registered three-straight attempts. The first one came from junior Paige Knorr (Cincinnati, Ohio) which was saved by the EMU keeper. After a shot from Townsend was blocked by the EMU defense, Knorr fired the ball at the net, forcing a save to keep the game at 1-1 in the 32nd minute.
After a shot from Leckie forced an EMU save in the 35th minute, the Eagles took the ball back down the pitch, scoring on a goal from Kristin Hullibarger to take a 2-1 lead in the 36th minute.
Minutes later, Hullibarger scored again to put the Eagles up 3-1 entering the half.
At the half, Ohio outshot the Eagles 10-6 with seven of them on goal compared the EMU's four.
Eastern Michigan struck in the 46th minute on Hullibarger's third goal of the game to take a 4-1 lead early in the second half.
The Bobcats looked to cut into the EMU lead with sophomore Olivia Sensky (Powell, Ohio) firing the ball at the net in the 49th minute, however the EMU keeper was there to make the save.
The Eagles took a 5-1 lead in the 54th minute on Hullibarger's fourth goal of the game.
Ohio recorded a shot in the 62nd minute when Leckie fired the ball at the net, forcing an EMU save. In the 64th minute, Milesky scored her second goal of the game with an assist from Leckie, cutting the EMU lead to 5-2. Then in the 71st minute, Dirrig recorded another attempt, however it was saved by the EMU keeper.
The Bobcats recorded another shot on goal in the 82nd minute when Senior Alli Miller (Dayton, Ohio) fired the ball at the net, however, it was once again saved by the EMU keeper. The Bobcats' offense kept pushing with Knorr, Leckie and senior Courtney Daugerdas (Libertyville, Ill.) all recording shots on goal in the 84th minute, however, all of them were saved by the EMU keeper to keep the game at 5-2.
The Bobcats were unable to score before the end of the game, falling to the Eagles, 5-2.
Overall, Ohio outshot EMU, 18-11, with 15 of them on goal compared to EMU's eight.
Milesky led the way in the final game of her career, scoring two goals on three shots with three of them on goal. Leckie registered two assists on three shots on goal, while Knorr also registered three shots on goal. Townsend and Dirrig bother recorded two shots, while Sensky, Santacaterina, Breeden, Daugerdas and Miller all registered shots as well.
In net, Malham got the start, allowing five goals and making three saves in 90 minutes of work in net.
With the loss, the Bobcats season comes to an end. Ohio's 11 wins are the most since 2002, while Milesky's 10 goals are the most since 2008 and the fourth most in a single season.
Stay tuned for OhioBobcats.com for all offseason information regarding the Bobcats.