[Ayden Crowley | WOUB]

Ohio Soccer knocked out of MAC tournament by 1-0 loss to rival Miami

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio Soccer entered the quarter final of the Mid-American Conference tournament with one thing in focus: survive and advance.

It was a matchup with its bitter rival the Miami Redhawks. 

Out of the gates the match was about defense and physicality. Plays like a Haley Miller slide tackle helped set the tone for the entire 90 minutes. 

Both teams had a couple looks at the net, but great goalkeeping from Sam Wexell and Izzie Vaccari kept the game scoreless at the end of the first half. 

Coming out of the break, the Bobcats were the aggressors. 

Ohio controlled the pace, but it came up empty on the shots they were able to generate. Meanwhile Miami didn’t let its opportunity slip.

Abby Townsend goes after the ball against Miami
Abby Townsend goes for the ball in Athens, Ohio, on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. [Alex Eicher | WOUB]
After a Bobcat penalty Taylor Hamlett snuck one past Wexell to give the Redhawks a 1-0 lead with 16 minutes to play. One goal was enough for Vaccari and a Redhawk defense that allowed under a goal a game this season.

The Bobcats had a couple more shots to knot the game up, but none of them found the back of the net. 

And Ohio’s season comes to a close at the hands of the Redhawks, 1-0. 

“To start the conference 0-2 and not scoring a goal and giving up five to turning around and to go 6-2-1 in the last nine games and too get the fourth seed and to host a game,” head coach Aaron Rodgers said. “It’s just a testament to how resilient these women are and wonderful they are and it was a lot of fun to be around them.”

The run of the resilient team comes to an end which means the final game on Chessa Field for some historic seniors including Abby Townsend. 

Townsend will finish her time with the Bobcats second in career goals at Ohio and fourth in games played. For Rodgers’, he says it’s time for new players to cement their legacy. 

“You can never replace her, but you know we will have people step up and create their own legacy and create their own special legacy to fill that space,” Rodgers said.