Soccer: Ohio and Ball State Battle to a Draw

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After a quick strike by Ohio in its match against Mid-American Conference rival Ball State, the Bobcats were only able to come away from the home contest with a 1-1 draw.  The tie pushed Ohio’s record to 6-5-1 (1-2-1 MAC).

The Bobcats started off play with a bang.  In just the third minute of play, Ohio’s Holly Harris put a hard shot on goal.  Ball State goaltender Aubrey Buehler was able to get a piece of Harris’ shot, but the ball ricocheted right to the foot of Ohio’s Liz Finley.  The sophomore forward buried the open-net opportunity, giving her team an early 1-0 lead and bringing the Ohio fans at Chessa Field to their feet.

“I was weak side and I saw the shot coming in,” said Finley of her goal-scoring play. “I was hoping the goalie would bobble it, and she did, and I was able to finish.”

After that moment, however, Ball State (5-4-3, 2-1-1 MAC) controlled the match for the most part.  After Ohio’s early goal, the Bobcats were only able to put one more shot on net in the first half.

Throughout the remainder of the first half and the early moments of the second half, Ball State kept chipping away, looking for the equalizing goal.  The Cardinals knocked on the door several times, but Ohio’s junior keeper Mattie Liston rose to the challenge, turning away numerous scoring chances.

Finally, in the 52nd minute of play, Ball State broke through when Amanda Dreyfus’ cross was deflected by a sprawling Liston.  However, the goaltender was out of position during the ensuing scramble. 

Ball State’s Nicole Pembleton eventually found the ball in the box and she capitalized on her chance, scoring to pull the Cardinals even with the Bobcats.

As the clock ran down, Ball State continued to surge.  Liston rejected several more Cardinal chances before regulation time ended.  After twenty scoreless minutes of sudden-death overtime action, the match ended in a 1-1 deadlock.

“It’s a tie, so you’re always conflicted,” said Ohio head coach Stacy Strauss. “I thought we could have done a lot of little things better in regulation to put the game away.  But, having said that, I couldn’t have asked for much more in terms of the effort.”

After a loss and a tie in a somewhat disappointing weekend home stand, the Bobcats will return to practice before hosting the Akron Zips (4-7, 0-4 MAC) on Oct. 5 at 4 p.m.