[Curtis Feder | WOUB]

Ohio’s offense stalls in tough 3-0 loss to MAC opponent Buffalo

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The Ohio Bobcats fell to the dominant Buffalo Bulls in a one-sided matchup. Only three days out from losing to a winless Kent State, they fell 3-0 to a very strong Buffalo side.  

Ohio utilized the long ball quite frequently. Time and time again they would use either winger to try and play a ball over the head of the Bulls defense. After losing to Ohio last season, Buffalo did not mess around and quickly scored two goals in ten minutes. The first came at the 28 minute mark where a cross from Alya Ruken made it easy for teammate Andrea Judasz to tap the ball into the bottom right corner.  

Down 1-0 Ohio could not find the goal, let alone the box. They gained some forward momentum as Isabella Ginocchi rifled a shot at the 34 minute mark that caused Buffalo keeper Emily Kelly some trouble. Buffalo’s second goal came just ten minutes as it’s first and this time it looked like the Bobcats were in for a rude awakening. A beautiful through ball from Cashlin Copley and a composed finish from Arianna Zumpano showed just why Buffalo was 7-1 heading into the contest.  

Ohio Soccer's Abby Townsend goes for the ball against a Buffalo player
Abby Townsend goes for the ball in Ohio’s game against Buffalo [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
Preceding the match, Buffalo was on an insane stretch of phenomenal play. They have not conceded a goal since August 28th at Rutgers, the third team in the nation at the time. Since their 2-1 to the Scarlet Knights, Buffalo has gone 6-0 and outscored its opponents 10-0. An unstoppable force such as the Bulls proved to be too much for Ohio on Sunday. 

“We could counter and get the ball in behind their back line or in the wide space,” head coach Aaron Rodgers said. “That’s where we can beat them and where we’ve had success against them in the past.”  

The goalkeeper situation for this Bobcats team is also worth something of note. True freshman Celeste Sloma has started every game for the Bobcats, but has not finished every game. Senior goalkeeper and veteran player Sam Wexell came in for Ohio at half today, something she is familiar with doing this year. In a sport like soccer having continuity at the goalkeeper position is vital to a teams success, yet Rodgers isn’t worried about his last line of defense.

“They’re both very good goalkeepers and both deserve to play,” Rodgers said. “At this point we’re just gonna keep doing that.”  

At the beginning of the second half Ohio looked dangerous. It utilized the left side of the field and strung together a series of persistent attacks in a promising manner. But they could not stop Buffalo. In the 67th minute, Ariana Zumpano buried her second goal of the afternoon. Three goals down and no real momentum going their way, Ohio had to resort to trying to maintain possession in its offensive zone.

A bright spot for Ohio in the second half was Wexell who had a couple key saves when Ohio was trying to come back from the monstrous 3-0 deficit.  

Ohio takes on Miami Thursday at home in the battle of the bricks. The heated rivalry between the two schools should surely lead to an intense game. Kick off is set for 4 p.m. from Chessa Field.