Late Goal Boosts Bowling Green Over Ohio

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Sophomore Megan Niebuhr scored an early goal Friday to put the Bobcats ahead, but it wasn't enough to stop Bowling Green from scoring two second half goals to defeat Ohio 2-1 in the first of a three-game road trip.

The Falcons handed Ohio its second straight loss in Mid-American Conference play, but they looked to be pinned back early, as the Bobcats (6-9, 3-4 in MAC) controlled much of the attacking play in the first half. 

The goal had seemed to galvanize Bowling Green (3-11, 2-5 in MAC), but it still couldn't put many shots on target. 

But the Falcons didn't have that problem in the second half. Bowling Green came out of halftime with a different attitude. The team pressed the ball more and converted more dangerous shots on goal. 

Both teams had plenty of chances—Ohio recording 27 shots and the Falcons getting 22—but Bowling Green made the better use of its chances.

And their efforts paid off in the 53rd minute when a through ball played freshman Madison Schupbach in to slot home for the tying goal.

The equalizer momentarily took the punch out of the Bobcats' offense, but they rebounded with the injection of freshman Hannah Jaggers and sophomore Alli Cislo.

The two underclassmen added a bit more bite to Ohio’s attack and pushed the Falcons’ defense to the brink. But Bowling Green came away with the next goal, as a low cross to the right side of the box set freshman Leah Runkle one-on-one with senior Nicole Amari, and the Falcon forward converted for the winner.

While the late game collapse won’t make Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers happy, one bright spot for him was Niebuhr. The freshman headed home sophomore Lexi Milesky’s rebounded shot in the ninth minute and has slotted home into senior Gabby Hausfeld's place well. Despite a few positioning errors, she has looked strong in replacing her former captain and looks to be a natural replacement for Hausfeld after she graduates.

And with Hausfeld stuck on the sideline for the remainder of the year due to a knee injury, Niebuhr will be given more time to grow and acclimate herself to the team while working on her relationship with fellow center back Grace Campbell. 

Niebuhr and the Bobcat defense will get a true test against Eastern Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Eagles have scored 20 goals this season, including four in MAC play while allowing only two in to their own net.