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Soccer: Respite to put 'Cats back on paws

After a physically and mentally exhausting game against Ohio State, the Bobcats are taking the week to regroup and recharge.

Ohio took in-state rival Ohio State to the brink until Ohio State scored the game’s lone goal just minutes before it would have gone to penalty kicks.

Though the game will go down as a loss for the Bobcats, the victory was found in the players who rose to the challenge that coach Stacy Strauss puts in front of them each week.

"This is the kind of game you think about, and I think for our team, we came out for that game and went to the next level,” goalkeeper Mattie Liston said. “We really wanted to prove ourselves because, the games before, we hadn’t proved ourselves.”

Strauss said the Bobcats have been using the week to tweak a few things and hope to continue building off the Ohio State game and the level of play they showed they are capable of.

Much of the coaching staff’s focus has been getting players back to their peak fitness after Sunday’s games.

“We’re trying to be smarter about not overtraining. I felt in the weeks leading up to the Cleveland State game, I probably didn’t give them enough time off,” Strauss said. “We’re trying to do that now and keep practices shorter but keep the intensity level at the rate we want.”

This week’s work began with rest as the team took Monday off and had a lighter practice Tuesday.

“Everyone, including myself, was pretty beat up from the game. It was a pretty physical game,” Liston said. “We do ice baths and extra stretching and jogging.  It helps to get out here and jog for a half hour and get your legs moving. Then we get out here Wednesday and go hard for two hours and move forward.”

The Bobcats are having each unit practice together a few days each week.

For a certain period, players from each position work only with other players from that position, honing their tactical skills.

The players have been watching footage of the Ohio State game throughout the week, pinpointing their areas of strength.

“We’re showing them all video this week, mostly all good things, and just letting them know that, that’s the kind of play were expecting from them every game,” Strauss said.

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