[Curtis Feder | WOUB]

Ohio soccer still leads the MAC after a win over rival Miami

Posted on:

< < Back to

ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio soccer put on a defensive masterpiece Sunday to stay atop the MAC standings.

Coming off a 0-0 tie at Ball State, the Bobcats aimed to put a game in the win column against their rival. On a special day like Senior day, Ohio (10-3-2, 6-0-2 MAC) achieved its goal and came away with a 1-0 physically demanding win over Miami (7-6-3, 4-4-0 MAC).

Looking to fuel their MAC championship run, the Bobcats had their work set out for them as they faced off against a gritty Miami squad.

Miami came out strong and dominated possession and pace as senior goalkeeper Sam Wexell had to make a great save to keep the scoreboard clear. Later in the half Ohio began to gain momentum and took some shots that almost sneaked by Miami’s keeper Izzie Vaccari.

Things progressed from physical to tactical towards the end of the match, with both teams creating scoring opportunities and making delicate passes. The second half started fast for both teams, but Ohio took four shots within the first 15 minutes, showing it was eager for its first goal.

Ohio soccer's Sarina Dirrig (22) celebrates with Olivia Sensky (left) and Madison Clayton (right) following Dirrig's goal against Miami on Oct. 17, 2021.
Ohio soccer’s Sarina Dirrig (22) celebrates with Olivia Sensky (left) and Madison Clayton (right) following Dirrig’s goal against Miami on Oct. 17, 2021.

A perfect cross by Regan Berg led to none other than Sarina Dirrig scoring an easy tap-in to put the Bobcats up one.

Yet again, Sarina Dirrig’s impact off the bench has been nothing short of spectacular.

In the super seniors last five games she has two goals and two assists, a stat line which is very impressive for a player who consistently comes off the bench.

“I’m just really embracing my role this year and just hope to make the most out of everything,” said Dirrig. “That’s happened to me twice now.”

Coach Aaron Rodgers also realized how vital Dirrig’s role was to the Bobcats success and said that he told Dirrig something before she entered the game. Rodgers told Dirrig and teammate Regan Berg “You guys are going to change this game” and it looks like coach Rodgers was right  Berg was the one who crossed the ball to Dirrig for the goal as well as the win.

A big trend for the Bobcats was their back line of defense. Miami was getting good looks from inside the penalty area, but it was players like Ella Bianco, Paige Knorr, and Olivia Sensky who were blocking shots from the persistent Miami attack. Ohio’s back four made senior goalkeeper Sam Wexell’s job much easier as she achieved her sixth shutout in the last seven games.

The Bobcats look to wrap up their successful season with three more games before the MAC tournament starts.

Ohio faces Eastern Michigan and Kent State at home will travel to Central Michigan to play the Chippewas. The Bobcats look to secure a title in which they have dominated conference play and are connecting on all levels.

Ohio’s first step to doing that is Thursday against Eastern Michigan.  First touch is scheduled for 4 p.m. from Chessa Field.