Bobcats in Control After Beating Northern Illinois

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It was a memorable senior day for Cat Rogers and her Ohio soccer team, as the senior’s goal gave the Bobcats a tight 1-0 victory over Northern Illinois.

There was a lot on the line for the Bobcats entering Sunday afternoon’s matchup at Chessa Field. The Bobcats were tied for eighth place in the MAC with Buffalo and Western Michigan, and Coach Stacy Strauss’ team was going up against the Huskies, who were in seventh place in the Mid-American Conference.

The Bobcats were in charge of their own destiny, and it showed in their play.

Both offenses were silent the entire first half. The Bobcats only got off three shots on goal while the Huskies managed only one. Solid defensive strategies from both sides limited the amount of chances to score.

“I thought, as expected, Northern (Illinois) brought a very physical game and they were direct,” Strauss said. “That required us to be very organized and battle with them in the air and I thought that we did that.”

Then, in the 61st minute, Rogers took a chance off an Erin Feeney assist.

From 25 yards out, Rogers winded up and fired a shot towards Northern Illinois goalie, Amy Carr. The shot received a lucky bounce into the back of the net to give the Bobcats the lead they desperately needed.

“They checked real hard to the other side, so I was super open,” Rogers said. “I said, 'Feeney, quick, quick.' She played a little ball, and I tried to put it in the box, back post and it ended up going in.”

The senior’s goal nicely capped off her successful career at Chessa Field. The goal was Rogers’ 13th of her career, placing her tied for ninth in Ohio history.

The Bobcats are now tied with Buffalo for eighth in the conference. The MAC playoffs don’t determine tiebreakers on head-to-head matchups, so Buffalo does not have an advantage from its controversial 1-0 victory over Ohio earlier this season.

The Bobcats travel to Kent State Thursday to take on the fourth-place Golden Flashes (11-4-2, 6-3-1 MAC). Buffalo’s matchup isn’t as difficult, as they take on 11th-place Akron (5-11-1, 1-8-1 MAC).

The Bobcats remain in charge of their own destiny. A win Thursday guarantees them a spot in the playoffs, but it won’t come easy. If the Bobcats tie or lose the upcoming game, Buffalo must have a similar result.

With the win over the Huskies, Ohio is looking to ride this momentum into Kent.

“(The win is) huge. It sparks a life into our team. We're still in the running. We're not completely down and out,” Rogers said. “I think it's a huge boost and hopefully we'll be able to go to Kent State and get another one.”