Ohio Loses Season Finale, Prepares For MAC Tournament

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The Ohio Bobcats finished their 2013 season with a 2-1 loss at Chessa Field to Kent State on Thursday, but the Bobcats must quickly turn it around in time for the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Sunday.

The Bobcats, looking to make a push for a No. 7 seed, wasted no time to get on the scoreboard Thursday. Alexis Milesky scored her fourth goal of the season from six yards out to put the Bobcats up, 1-0.

“That goal was off of pure fight. It wasn’t a pretty goal. It was just fight in the box,” said Milesky, who was assisted by Tonya Frasik on the goal. “And Maggie (Murnane) did a great job of sliding and tackling, and Gabby (Hausfeld) did a great job of sliding and tackling. I think it was just our will to work, honestly.”

From that point, it was the Jessacca Gironda show.

The MAC’s leading scorer scored Kent State’s first goal on a penalty kick in the 18th minute to tie the game at one, after getting fouled by Ohio’s Mollie Whitacre in the box.

And nine minutes later, the senior rocketed in another goal from 18 yards out, her 14th of the season to give the Golden Flashes the 2-1 lead, which they held the remainder of the game.

“I thought the last two games we gave two goals up on us not being attentive to details,” Ohio head coach Aaron Rodgers said. “And I feel we had very good spells of the game today. We possessed the ball; we out-possessed them quite a bit today. … We defended much better in the second half.”
After being outshot, 6-5, in the first half, the Bobcats turned it around in the second, out shooting the Golden Flashes, 7-4.

Following Thursday’s loss, Ohio ended the season as the No. 8 seed in the MAC Tournament for the second straight year. In last season’s tournament, the No. 8 Bobcats lost to No. 1 Miami (OH), 1-0.

This year, Ohio will take on No. 1 Eastern Michigan at Ypsilanti, Mich. The Eagles earned the No. 1 seed Thursday after defeating Western Michigan on the road, 2-1. Ohio lost its last match to the conference's leader in goals at home, 3-0.

“[Eastern Michigan] came in here and beat us pretty handily two weeks ago. For us, we have some redemption and an opportunity for that,” Rodgers said. “I feel like if we take care of details, if we seal off in the box, we defend and organize like we did in the second half of today, and possess and fight like we did for most of the match, we’ll be fine.”

Ohio will travel to Ypsilanti, Mich., for Sunday’s first round matchup against Eastern Michigan. The Eagles have won four of their last five games.