Ohio Falls To Eastern Michigan In MAC Tournament

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Ohio entered Sunday afternoon’s Mid-American Conference quarterfinal round game against Eastern Michigan, looking to upset the No. 1 seeded Eagles that led the conference in goals scored.

But the Bobcats had a difficult time stopping the offensive powerhouse, as they allowed three goals and ended the 2013 season in a 3-0 loss in Ypsilanti, Mich.

The last time these two teams met, the Eagles wasted no time in putting pressure on the Ohio defense and scored within the first 10 minutes. That remained the same Sunday, as Stephanie Clarke knocked in her first of two goals of the day in the fourth minute.

Clarke found the back of the net again in the 32nd minute on an Angela Vultaggio assist to put Ohio in a 2-0 hole before halftime.

The Eagles had complete control of the pace throughout the first half, outshooting the Bobcats, 13-3, in the first 45 minutes and putting seven of those shots on goal.

Already facing a 2-0 deficit, Ohio quickly changed the dynamics of the game in the second half by putting up 12 shots and four on goal. The Bobcats didn’t find the back of the net, though, being shut out for just the third time in MAC play this year.

Goalkeeper Mattie Liston made five saves in the 16 shots she faced. She ended the 2013 season with 107 saves and 403 in her career, which is fifth all time in the MAC.

The loss also brings seniors Maggie Murnane, Natalie Bechtel and Alex Stec’s careers to an end. Murnane, a midfielder, finished the season tied for fourth on the team in goals.

The Bobcats enter the offseason with a solid corps returning next year, especially offensively. Holly Harris, Alexis Milesky and Liz Finley, who all had a team-leading four goals this year, will be back on the squad next year, along with Carly Manso and Sasha Haverchak, who played solid minutes at the forward and midfield positions.

Defensively, Ohio loses Liston to graduation, but backup Nicole Amari has shown that she can step right in and fill the shoes of the Bobcats’ all-time leader in shutouts. Ohio also returns Grace Campbell and Gabby Hausfeld to the central defender positions, along with Tonya Frasik and freshman Mollie Whitacre to the back line.

A look at the new Ohio team for 2014 will take place in the spring when the Bobcats participate in the annual spring soccer. The dates have yet to be announced.