Buffalo Defeats Ohio 1-0 After Controversial Call

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The referees swallowed their whistles several times in Sunday afternoon’s soccer matchup between Ohio and Buffalo, but it only took one call to give the Bulls the tight 1-0 victory.

Heading into the Mid-American Conference game, both teams had a lot on the line, and it showed. The Bobcats were looking for their second straight victory in the MAC, while Buffalo was looking for their first conference win.
The referees were letting the girls play early. Rough play from both sides led to several complaints from the players, coaches and fans in the first 15 minutes.
It was a foul call, though, on Ohio goalie Nicole Amari that caused the greatest controversy.
Ohio controlled most of the possession during the first half, but in the 17th minute, Taylor Thompson attacked Amari, who slid to block the shot attempt. Amari collided into Thompson and successfully blocked the shot. The referee blew the whistle on Amari, which resulted a penalty kick.
Courtney Mann converted on the kick and Buffalo took the early lead. Amari, Coach Stacy Strauss, and the fans all wanted an explanation for the questionable foul.
“I definitely don’t think it was a penalty, so it’s kind of unfair, but it is what it is,” Amari said. “One of those things where you can’t really win on it. After that, you just had to pretend it was 0-0, and our team just needed to go and do what they can.”
Ohio goalies Amari and Rachel Fryan had five and four saves, respectively. Both played a half in place of Mattie Liston, who was out for undisclosed reasons. Strauss complimented the two’s play, saying both “played well in goal.”
It was a case of several missed opportunities for the Bobcats. Both teams had 16 shots the entire game, but Ohio was only able to put three on goal while the Bulls managed 10.
With 13:07 remaining in the game, senior Cat Rogers went down with an injury and did not return. Strauss, looking for more offensive firepower without Rogers, switched her formation from four defenders to three.
The formation shift did what Strauss intended it to do. The Bobcats were pressuring Buffalo goalie Ainsley Wheldon the final minutes, but could not convert.
“(Rogers’ injury) took out a veteran player that we would’ve liked to have in the closing minutes when we need a goal,” Strauss said. “We have great depth and the opportunity to bring in a couple freshmen, and they held their own.”
Strauss also commented on Rogers’ situation saying, “She’ll be fine.”
The win gave Buffalo their first victory in the MAC, and the Bobcats now drop to 7-6-1 this season and 2-3-1 in the conference. Ohio looks to boost their MAC record above .500, as they travel to Eastern Michigan next Friday and Western Michigan next Sunday.
“We’re at the point where we want to make sure that we’re getting as many points as we can,” Strauss said. “But I think, more importantly, just get back to playing our game, get a couple players back to health, get some players that are sick rested, and then start fresh on Friday.”