Bobcats teammates hug and celebrate after the first goal is scored during their game against Central Michigan on September 24, 2017 in Athens, Ohio. The Bobcats won the game 3-0. (Kelsey Brunner/WOUB)

Ohio Soccer: Ohio’s Great Season Comes Ends in Bowling Green

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On Friday night the Ohio women’s soccer team looked to etch their names in the record books and become the first team in Ohio history to clinch a berth in the Mid-American Conference tournament championship. They would clash with the top seeded Bowling Green Falcons who defeated the Bobcats earlier in the season 3-1, but Ohio was confident that they could re-write the script this time around.

Throughout the first 60 minutes of the game there was nothing separating the two teams. The Bobcats played very sound defensively and held off a relentless attack from the Falcons.

In the 68th minute, the Falcons  finally broke through.

Jennifer Reyes received a pass from teammate Erica Hubert on the left side of the box and tucked it just inside the far post past a diving Sydney Malham to give Bowling Green a 1-0 advantage that they would not squander the rest of the way.

The Bobcats generated a couple of decent chances, but none of them were able to get the best of Bowling Green keeper Kathleen Duwve who finished the game with a clean sheet.

The Bobcats (9-8-3, 6-3-2) played a sound game defensively, but struggled to create good chances on goal as they finished the game with only eight shots which was six shots below their season average coming into the game. Sydney Malham played a strong game in goal as she tallied up seven saves on the night.

Bowling Green (14-4-2, 10-1-0) played up to the top seeded bill and took advantage of the home field advantage and captured the 1-0 victory. The goal that Reyes scored was her first of the season and the biggest one that the Falcons had scored all season long. Bowling Green controlled a good chunk of possession in the game and outshot the Bobcats 11-8 on the night.

The Bobcats got one of their best chances to score early in the game. Sydney Leckie took the ball down the left sideline and whipped in a cross right into the middle of the box, but Bowling Green were able to keep their poise and clear the ball away from goal.

Both teams took shots back-and-forth throughout the rest of the half, but none found the back of the net.

After Reyes scored what would be the game winner, the Bobcats only generated two more shots and neither could break the back line of the Falcons.

Despite coming up short in the MAC tournament, the Bobcats put together a fine season overall. They earned a home game in the conference tournament for the first time since the 2009-2010 season and won a MAC tournament game for the first time since 2004.

The team also boasted an impressive record at their home field Chessa Field of 5-2-2. The team can look forward to returning their top goal scorer as well as two of their assist leaders next season.