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Soccer: 'Cats claim commanding performance

The Bobcats left the field Saturday with one of their best performances of the spring despite a 1-0 loss to West Virginia.     

In the fall, West Virginia reached the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament, and while losing 1-0 to the Mountaineers would appear a disappointment, coach Stacy Strauss said she was impressed Ohio played it close.        

“I was very pleased. The team played really well,” Strauss said. “I thought it was the best performance of the spring.”     

The team showed poise and is becoming a more dangerous attacking team. Forward Rachel Philpot has taken a more emotional leadership role on the field and is improving in her attacking abilities, Strauss said. Meanwhile, the speed of the play is an area Strauss has emphasized this spring, and Saturday she saw how the team has progressed.   

“We were much improved in our speed of play and our ability to create some pretty dangerous scoring opportunities,” Strauss said.     

The scoring struggles that have been nagging the Bobcats continued against West Virginia even though Ohio created a few opportunities.       

“It’s coming, I don’t have real concerns about our ability to score in the fall,” Strauss said. “To produce as many quality chances as we did against a caliber team like West Virginia is a credit to our improvement.”      

An explanation for the lack of goals can be pointed to a variety of reasons, but one of the main points is the team's unselfish demeanor, which can be a positive and also a negative when it comes to scoring, Strauss said.     

“It’s a mentality and a mindset. Up to this point, too many of our players our team players,” Strauss said. “To be a great goal scorer, you have to be a little selfish.”       

A few juniors who have been emerging as taking on a more prominent leadership role this season have been Philpot, Katie Kemen and Toye Famodu, Strauss said.       

“They are leading from individual strengths and bring different qualities to the table,” Strauss said. “There is a large rising of senior leaders.”

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