Late Fireworks Lead to Ohio Win

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What looked like an easy win went down to the wire as the Ohio women’s soccer team pulled out a close victory, defeating the Akron Zips (4-8, 0-5 MAC) 3-2 Friday in Athens.

The second half provided a late offensive explosion, beginning when senior Cat Rogers found Holly Harris on a cross in the 73rd minute. Harris connected on a goal from 25 yards out to give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.

And then a mere two minutes later, it was Harris connecting again for her second goal of the afternoon, with another assist from Rogers, bumping the Bobcats lead to 3-0.

“I saw Cat and I knew she wasn’t going to go baseline, so I held my run and held off the defender and just tried to hit corner post,” Harris said. “We’ve had a rough few weeks so scoring three goals tonight was big for our team.”

At that point the game seemed to be in complete Bobcat control. But Akron scored two goals in eight minutes to trim the Ohio lead to 3-2 with less than five minutes to play.

But the Bobcats defense did its job in those last five minutes, possessing the ball most of that time without giving Akron a shot to tie the game.

“We were a little beat up and a little sick, but we did some things in the last five minutes to secure the win,” Coach Stacy Strauss said after the game. “It was a good individual effort, but a better team position.”

The Bobcats went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, after a goal by sophomore Liz Finley in the 42nd minute.

“It came off of a free kick, and it bobbled around in the box, and I was able to toe-kick it in,” said Finley.

Harris, a freshman forward, played 32 minutes off the bench for the Bobcats.

“We all know that coming off the bench, everyone has a big role,” she said.

Sophomore Annie Beard also played well off the bench for the Bobcats with two shots and an assist.

The Bobcats improve to 7-5-1 (2-2-1 MAC) on the season, and also improve to 6-1-1 at Chessa Field in 2012. Ohio hosts Buffalo Sunday at 1 p.m. in the final match of a four-game home stand.