[Sully Beach | WOUB]

Abby Townsend scores brace in huge 3-2 senior night win

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – In what were several players’ final appearance at Chessa Field, the Ohio Bobcats gained a clutch 3-2 victory to keep their Mid-American Conference title hopes alive.

Heading into Sunday afternoon’s matchup against Western Michigan, Ohio was on the bubble trying to make the six team MAC tournament. The Bobcats were seventh, one point behind Western Michigan and tied on points with Miami (OH) with the Redhawks owning the tiebreaker.

With the postseason in their sights along with it being senior night, the Bobcats had plenty of motivation to win, and it showed on the field with the seniors leading the charge.

In the 14th minute, senior Regan Berg raced down the left wing and delivered a cross into the box, with fellow senior Abby Townsend charging in to finish it off before the Broncos keeper got there to put Ohio up 1-0 early.

After coming out a little shaky prior to the first goal, the Bobcats then took control in the first half, managing Western Michigan’s press and generating several chances.

In the 42nd minute, the Broncos struggled to clear a cross and senior Olivia Darrow crashed the six-yard box to put the Bobcats up two heading into the locker room. Darrow had not scored since her freshman season in 2019, and what better time to get on the score sheet than senior night with MAC standings in the balance.

“It’s just really nice to see her score. She’s an unbelievable teammate, wonderful person and obviously extremely well-liked within the team,” Ohio head coach Aaron Rodgers said. “For her to be rewarded with that kind of accolade, I think it is fitting for her.”

After appearing to be on a cruise to a comfortable second half, Western Michigan scored against the run of play in the 65th minute putting some fear of a potential equalizer into the hearts of the Bobcat fans, but Ohio quelled those fears in an instant.

Just three minutes later, Shae Robertson tracks down a long ball and plays in Abby Townsend, who fires a shot into the bottom left corner past the keeper to put the Bobcats back up two, scoring her second goal of the day.

Despite giving up a penalty goal in the 75th minute, Ohio took care of business to gain a massive victory. Abby Townsend will go down as one of the greatest Ohio women’s soccer players in program history and reflected on her time with the team.

“I’m just very grateful to be a part of this program and hoping that we can get as much done as possible this year and extend our season as long as we can,” Townsend said.

Ohio is currently tied in points with Miami and sits in the sixth spot in the MAC standings. The Bobcats will look to officially clinch their spot in the MAC tournament on Thursday when they travel to face the Akron Zips.