Published Mon, Sep 26, 2011 3:34 am Dateline
Ohio Soccer ran into a potent Central Michigan offense on Sunday, losing 3-0 at Chessa Field to the visiting Chippewas. Midfielder Autumn Hawkins had a very strong day for the defending Mid-American Conference champions, scoring one goal and adding an assist in 70 minutes. Kelsey Pichel led the way offensively for Ohio, firing six total shots throughout the contest.
The loss puts Ohio at 4-6 (1-1 MAC) on the season while the Chippewas improved to 7-1-2 (1-0-1 MAC).
"We made things difficult for ourselves in possession," said head coach Stacy Strauss. "We played the wrong ball at the wrong time or played it to the wrong foot. We're far better than the way we played today."
Central Michigan got off to a very strong start, peppering the Ohio defense with a number of early chances at goal. Ashley Mejilla and Kaely Schlosser hit shots wide in the first five minutes of the match while Chelsi Abbott fired a good shot on goal a few moments later, one which Mattie Liston was able to save. The Bobcats answered back with some pressure of their own just a few minutes later, with Kelsey Pichel, Rachael Philpot and Cat Rogers each firing off a shot.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 25th minute from a seemingly routine situation. Liesel Toth hit a very good free kick into the Ohio box where teammate Jennifer Gassman was waiting. Gassman hit a nice half volley past the outstretched arms of Liston to put her side up 1-0.
Following the goal, Ohio turned up the intensity in a search for the equalizer. The Bobcats outshot CMU 4-1 throughout the rest of the first half but were unable to find the back of the net before halftime.
The Chippewas pressed hard right from the start of the second half, scoring the second goal in the 50th minute of the match when Ashley Mejilla took advantage of some confusion in the Ohio penalty area. The CMU midfielder played a nice cross to the far post where Hawkins was waiting to direct it into the back of the net.
Morgan Wilcoxon was able to score the final goal of the match in the 75th minute on a bit of an unlucky break for the Green and White. Hawkins headed a cross square off the post, forcing substitute goalkeeper Nicole Amari out of position. The ball bounced right to Wilcoxon, who was able to slot it home to put the match out of reach.
"We just need to find a little bit more intensity and consistency," Strauss said. "We need to shore up our possession a bit and make sure that we don't give up easy goals off of set pieces."
Ohio will now set off on a four-game conference road trip. The Bobcats' next match is Sept. 30 at Western Michigan, with first kick set for 4 p.m.