Liston Shuts Out Western Michigan, Breaks Record

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Ohio goalie Mattie Liston added onto her impressive career Sunday afternoon, as she recorded her 20th career shutout in a 0-0 tie against the Western Michigan Broncos (7-4-4, 5-1-2).

Liston made her Senior Day memorable by adding on the career shutout accolade, a feat that she said was her best accomplishment throughout her four-year career as a Bobcat.

“This one is probably the most important to me because shutouts are hard,” Liston said. “I mean I’ve played over 60 games, and I’ve only gotten a shutout 20 times in four years. It took me four years to do it, but I’m pretty excited about it.”

Western Michigan outshot the Bobcats (6-5-5, 2-3-3), 19-8, throughout the game, but Ohio’s ability to possess kept consistent pressure on the Broncos’ defense and made the Ohio defense’s job easier. After having five shots on goal in the first half, Western Michigan had just two the remainder of the double overtime match.

“Possession was a lot better,” Liston said. “When possession is better, you don’t have to play as much defense. It’s simple. … The more we keep the ball, the easier they make it on me.”

Each team had their chances, including two Western Michigan shots that bounced off the crossbar and a Holly Harris rocket that was blocked by Bronco goalie Michelle Watson seconds before the end of the first overtime. But neither goalie let the ball find the net, Watson making six saves and Liston making seven.

“[Ohio] came out and battled for 110 minutes. We’ve been waiting for us to battle for 110 minutes, and we finally did today,” Ohio head coach Aaron Rodgers said. “Were we clinical enough in front of goals? No, but we’ll get there next week.”

Along with Harris’ shot, Ohio missed on opportunities in the second half when Carly Manso missed a left-footed shot over the crossbar in the 60th minute and Sasha Haverchak missed a shot wide of the goal in the 88th minute.

Haverchak and Grace Campbell are starting to return to full health, with Campbell playing all 110 minutes and Haverchak getting 54 minutes on the pitch.

“[Sasha’s] fitness level is down because she hasn’t been able to train, so once she gets her fitness level back, you’re going to see a better Sasha next weekend,” Rodgers said. “And it only helps that she’s such a tremendous player.”

Sunday’s tie was the Bobcats’ fifth of the season, which breaks the previous season high of four set in 2010.

Ohio will hit the road next weekend, as it travels to Toledo, who lost, 2-0, to Miami (OH) on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.