Central Michigan Shuts Out Ohio, 3-0

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With Central Michigan already up 1-0 and the game hanging in the balance early, senior Erin Feeney stepped up to take the penalty kick that had just been awarded to Ohio.

But the Chippewas goalkeeper, Heather Laeufer, made herself big and denied the kick and effectively took all the power out of the Bobcats’ offense. And after that save Ohio never really got back on track, dropping its final away game of the regular season, 3-0, on Friday.

Senior Nicole Amari retook her position in goal for the Bobcats (6-11, 3-6 in Mid-American Conference) after Rachel Fryan played the last game, but the senior was unable to keep Central  (5-11-1, 3-7) off the scoreboard early.

In the 17th minute, the Chippewas’ Christen Chiesa passed it across the box for Laura Gosse to toe-poke it into the right corner for the first goal of the game.

But the Bobcats had a chance to equalize only 20 seconds later when they were awarded a penalty. After failing to capitalize on the opportunity, Ohio looked to make up for the mistake by controlling the attacking play for much of the rest of the half.

However, its dominance ended after another strike by Central Michigan settled into the bottom right corner in the 54th minute.

Multiple substitutions saw the flow of the game stall slightly as both teams struggled for shots and traded corners, but the set pieces came to nothing.

But the Chippewas iced the game and the three points by slotting a penalty past Amari in the 75th minute to sink the Bobcats’ hope of making the playoffs even further.

Hypothetically, Ohio only needed two points coming into this weekend to make the MAC Tournament. But three points on Friday would have helped significantly towards the Bobcats’ postseason aspirations.

Now they will have to depend on dropped points from their opposition and a win against Toledo, who currently rank one spot above bottom-dwellers Central, on Sunday to qualify for the postseason.

The good news for the Bobcats is that the Rockets lost 3-0 to Kent State on Friday and are on a three-game losing streak of their own. Three points against Toledo will be essential if Ohio still have hopes of participating in the MAC Tournament for the sixth straight year.