Ohio’s Sydney Malham had a shutout in the victory over Toledo. (photo via Alex Porter)

Ohio Soccer: Big Second half pushes Bobcats past Rockets

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After losing to Western Michigan 1-0 to wrap up their four-game road stretch, the Ohio soccer team looked to get back above .500 in conference play as they hosted the Toledo Rockets (3-8-0, 0-3)

The game seemed to be a real tale of two halves as the Bobcats (7-4-0, 2-1) came away with the victory 4-0.

In the first half, the Toledo pressure seemed to catch Ohio a off guard. The defense forced the Bobcats to move the ball backwards.

Ohio head coach, Aaron Rodgers, talked about how they were not as aggressive offensively as they could have been in the first half.

“We had a lot of possession we just didn’t have any incisive possession in the first half,” Rodgers said. “We weren’t really dangerous. We went backwards too much.”

Of Ohio’s 21 total shots taken, only seven of them came from the first half. The Toledo pressure stayed strong throughout the entire first half as they went into halftime with a score of 0-0.

In the second half things began to change. It was evident that the Rockets were getting tired and the Bobcats used that to their advantage.

Nine and a half minutes into the second half is when we would see the Bobcats get on the board with a goal from Abby Townsend. Townsend shot four times with two shots on target.

Two and a half minutes later, one of Ohio’s leading scorers, Alivia Milesky, would add on to her season total with her fourth goal of the season.

The third Bobcat goal would come from Olivia Page off a double assist from Maddie Young and Sarina Dirrig.

The other leading scorer, Young, would get her fourth goal of the season with eight and a half minutes to be played to give Ohio some more cushion.

Toledo’s physicality caused a lot of penalties as they faced 16 total penalties and three yellow cards. Most of Toledo’s penalties and all three yellow cards came in the second half. However, Ohio had a fair share of their own penalties, most of which came in the first half.

Coach Rodgers commended his team for how they handled the Rockets physicality.

“I thought we did really well,” Rodgers stated “We want to be strong knowing that someone is going to hit us.”

The Ohio defense was physical themselves as the defense only allowed ten shots and allowed the offense to control most of the possession time.

Goalkeeper, Sydney Malham had four saves on the day. However, her day was not what many would consider easy.

“They’re one of the few teams that’s actually pressing us in the back,” Malham stated “That was a little troublesome and kind of had to figure that out.”

Malham then went on to talk about the importance of Sundays game against Bowling Green.

“Hopefully we can just build off this game, we did a good job of finishing in our final third in the second half, and defensively I thought we were communicating pretty well,” Malham stated. “Hopefully we continue what we did in the second half today and bring it to the game on Sunday.”

The Bobcats look to build off the win as they host Bowling Green (4-4-2; 2-0-0) Sunday at 1 in a huge MAC contest.