Ohio Soccer Drops Season Opener

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The trip from Wright State to Athens is a minute or two less than 2.5 hours. The Raiders needed only eight minutes to bury Ohio.

Liz Soto's eighth-minute header was all Wright State needed to win its season opener and send the Lady 'Cats to 0-1. The free kick was crossed in from about ten yards outside the penalty area, where Soto was waiting inside a mess of Ohio defenders. Her slicing header bounced into the corner of the net, eluding Bobcat goalkeeper Mattie Liston.

Wright State dominated play for the first 20 minutes, as Ohio struggled to hold on to the ball, but the Lady 'Cats responded well and recorded six first-half shots. The only problem was that Ohio couldn't finish those chances.

"I thought that we adjusted fairly well within the game, specifically in the middle of the first half," head coach Stacy Strauss said. "But at several points throughout the game we gave them the opportunity to come at us, so we need to be the aggressor for the entire 90 minutes."

In the 76th minute, Ohio got its best opportunity to equalize, when it sieged the Raider net and got off two strong shots. The first of which was blocked by Wright State's central defense and ricocheted sideways to the foot of Kelsey Pichel, who, from a bad angle, chipped the ball over the goalkeeper but off the crossbar.

"We didn't really lack in chances, and we put the majority of our chances on frame," Strauss said. "We were just a crossbar away."

Toye Famodu was a sparkplug for Ohio, recording three shots (two on net), but the Wright State backline of Soto and 5'11" Lauren Patterson swarmed to the ball and cleared Famodu's 79th minute crossing attempt from inside the box. Ohio won the shot category, but Lady Raider goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy made six saves and helped preserve Wright State's first win.

Ohio takes the pitch again on Sunday when it welcomes Pittsburgh to Chessa Field.