[Payton Brooker | WOUB]

Late push not enough for Ohio who falls to Wake Forest 2-1

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Ohio (4-6, 2-2 MAC) hung tough with the 23rd ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-6) but fell short with a 2-1 loss. 

It didn’t show on the scoreboard, but the Bobcats controlled the game out of the gate. They maintained possession and were knocking on the door throughout the first 15 minutes.

However, the momentum started to slip as the quarter came to a close. The Demon Deacons came to life as the seconds waned. They started generating shots and flipped the script on the Bobcats. Ohio held off the late push to maintain the 0-0 tie into the second quarter.

But the break didn’t slow down Wake Forest. Not even a minute into the second frame, Wake Forest converted on a penalty corner to make it a 1-0 match. Freshman Mia Schoenback tallied her first goal for the Demon Deacons.

Ohio struggled to find its footing after the goal. It failed to convert on its own penalty corner with just over a minute left in the half, 1-0 Demon Deacons after 30 minutes. 

Wake Forest came out of the half firing. Just a minute and a half into the second half junior forward Brooke McCusker shot one into the back of the net unassisted to push the lead to two scores, 2-0 Demon Deacons. 

Katelyn Whittle battles for the ball in Ohio's game
Katelyn Whittle battles for the ball in Ohio’s game [Maria Monesi | WOUB]
But the Bobcats would not go away quietly. With nine minutes and 19 seconds in the third quarter, Katelyn Whittle scored an unassisted goal of her own to cut the lead back to one. Whittle has started all 10 games for the Bobcats and has racked up 10 goals. 

“Katelyn’s shot was ridiculous,” head coach Ali Johnstone said. “I was like, ‘There is no way.’ I think the ball was actually on the line before it went out and she just roofed it. Like SportsCenter top ten stuff.”

The goal puts Whittle top six in the nation in scoring.

“I have to give all the credit to my teammates for giving me these opportunities to score some goals,” Whittle said. “It does start all with the defense and our ability to move the ball up the field was pretty spectacular today.

That 2-1 score held for the remainder of the quarter despite a reinvigorated Bobcat attack. 

Ohio was searching for the equalizer in the fourth but could not find it, falling to Wake Forest 2-1.

“It’s tough to swallow a loss but it’s a top 25 team in this country and we outshot them.” Johnstone said. “Honestly, in the second we pretty much controlled most of the possession. I keep telling our team that we are that good and it will come.” 

The Bobcats next match comes Oct. 13 against the Central Michigan Chippewas.