Ohio Soccer Falls To Central Michigan, 2-1

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The Ohio soccer team (5-3-2, 1-1-0) struggled to get anything going in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Central Michigan (2-7-1, 2-0-0), as the Bobcats had season-lows in shot attempts and shots on goal in their first loss since Aug. 30.

Central Michigan showed poise on the road and possessed the ball throughout most of the game. Whenever Ohio showed any progress, the Chips had an answer.

Ohio’s Liz Finley got the Bobcats on the board first with a goal in the 19th minute on a cross from Lexi Milesky. The Bobcats’ 17th goal of the season matches the team’s total from last season.

But that lead didn’t last long. In just two minutes, Central Michigan’s Kaelyn Korte found the back of the net off an assist by Laura Gosse. The Chips outshot the Bobcats 9-6 and had seven shots on goal compared the Ohio’s two at halftime.

Central Michigan gained the lead when Emiley Cooksey connected on a 30-yard shot that went over the hands of Mattie Liston to the upper-right corner. With their ability to possess and control the Bobcats defensively, Central Michigan held onto the lead entering halftime and throughout the second half.

“We haven’t played too many people that possess the ball that well this year, so we were really struggling with our organization,” Rodgers said. “As I said, the game got physical and it got fast, and the pace of the game got high. So we have to be more attentive to the details of how we want to defend.”

In the first half of the schedule, the Bobcats’ scoring has been based on getting opportunities and taking advantage of them. Against the Chips, Ohio’s opportunities were slim and when they had scoring chances, they didn’t connect.

In the 13th minute, Finley was fouled in the box, creating a chance for the Bobcats to get on the board early. Tonya Frasik took the penalty kick for Ohio, but her shot was blocked by Central Michigan goalie Grace Labrecque.

“It’s hard to adjust to the momentum after missing that penalty, but we have to,” Rodgers said. “It’s part of the game. You’ve gotta go 90 minutes. That’s one of the things I told the girls before the game.”

Ohio had a season-low with seven shots and two shots on goal, and they had zero corner kicks in the second half for the first time this season.

“They were a good team. We struggled to keep up with the pace of the game [Sunday] and it was a good learning experience,” Rodgers said. “It’s hard to learn how to win. It’s hard to learn how to be a dominant team and we’re in that process.”

The Bobcats will look to bounce back Friday, as they travel to Miami (OH) for their first road test in the Mid-American Conference. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.