Ohio Beats NIU in Nearly Every Category Except the Score< < Back to
This is not the start to Mid-American Conference play Aaron Rodgers expected.
On a gray and gloomy second day of October at Chessa Field, two early first half goals from Taylor Sarver led the Huskies to the 2-1 win over Ohio. It was the Bobcats’ fourth straight loss to start conference play and their sixth straight loss overall.
This wasn’t a typical loss for Ohio. For large parts of the game, the Bobcats dominated possession, but couldn’t find the right pass in the final third to cap off the play. On both first half goals for the Huskies, the Bobcats were beaten on the counterattack, which is how Rodgers loves to play.
“Soccer is a cruel game sometimes,” Rodgers said after the game. “You can dominate the game in every statistical category except for the one that matters and lose. I couldn’t ask more of the players, we battled hard and this team has been resilient but we just need to defend those key moments a little better.”
Sarver broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with a one-time shot when NIU (4-5-2, 3-1-0) caught Ohio (2-8-1, 0-4-0) out of position and broke into the counter-attack. She added her second goal 12 minutes later in the 25th minute when she used her pace to run in behind the Ohio defense and hit a low drive to the far post. With the goals, Sarver leads the Huskies with six goals this season.
Remy Eades pulled one back for Ohio late in the second half in the 83rd minute when she knocked in the rebound after NIU goalkeeper Amy Annala orginially saved her penalty kick.
“We showed how good of a team we are today,” Rodgers said. “Soccer can just be a cruel game sometimes so we just need to take the positives away from today’s game.
“It could be a good thing for us, too. Buffalo and other teams may see that we are 0-4, but not realize how good of a team we are.”
Like Billie Joe Armstrong, Rodgers is going to be happy that the month of September is over. After today’s loss to the Huskies it has been a full month since Ohio last won a game—a 5-0 win over Cleveland State. Since then, Ohio is 0-6-1 and have been outscored 13-5.
“It was a tough month,” Rodgers said. “With a performance like today, the team recognized that we are a good team. We just need to take care of the minor details. We could have easily scored four goals today, but we can take a lot out of this gritty performance.”
NIU leaves Athens today happier than they did a year ago. The last time the Huskies and Bobcats met, Ohio won 2-1 in overtime thanks to a goal from Stephanie Rowland in the 105th minute.
With the loss, Ohio is 3-4-0 in their last seven meetings and 10-13-2 all time against the Huskies.
Some positives for Ohio, Alexis Milesky played the full 90 minutes for the first time since returning from injury, while Bryce Hueber will be returning Thursday night when Ohio takes on Buffalo.