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Sydney Leckie dribbles the ball down the field during Ohio's game against Central Michigan on Sept. 24. (FILE)

Soccer: Bobcats look to build off strong start to MAC play

Ohio will look to build off its momentum after a 2-0 start to conference play when it travels to Ball State on Friday.

Following an overtime win over Eastern Michigan and a 3-0 shutout win over Central Michigan, the Bobcats now sit second in the early-season Mid-American Conference East standings. After bouncing back from a four-game losing streak, coach Aaron Rodgers believes the strong start to MAC play has given the Bobcats (5-5-0, 2-0-0 MAC) some notable confidence.

“I think it’s huge for the team’s confidence and the team’s morale,” he said after the Central Michigan game. “If we continue to gain that confidence, the results are going to come.”

Ball State (3-5-2, 1-0-1 MAC) won at Bowling Green and drew with Toledo on the road in two close matches last weekend. Like to the Bobcats, the Cardinals have picked up most of their victories on their home field this season — they're 2-0-1 in Muncie, Indiana, on the year. That may pose a threat for the Bobcats, who have lost all four of their road matches this season.

The players to watch for the Cardinals are Sam Kambol and Amanda Shaw, who share the team lead in scoring and have combined for 36 shots this season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Muncie.

On Sunday, Ohio will travel to play rival Miami for a 1 p.m. matchup. The Redhawks (0-9-0, 0-2-0 MAC) sit at the bottom of the MAC East and haven’t had much to celebrate so far this season. 

Coming into both contests this weekend, the question will be if the Bobcats can get off to another quick start — they have won all four games in which they scored first.

Senior midfielder Hannah Jaggers and freshman goalkeeper Sydney Malham will look to lead the Bobcats after sweeping last week’s MAC Player of the Week Awards.


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