A Maria Russell goal cut the Ohio deficit to one, and there was belief that the Bobcats could tie the game in the final six minutes. A minute later, a yellow card was issued to Leah Warren, meaning Ohio would have to play the last 4:50 at a one-player disadvantage.
Ohio could not score the tying goal in a 3-2 loss to Indiana in a game that Ohio had four cards and fouls that lead to Indiana scoring goals.
“Our lack of discipline in that game that didn't allow us to finish the game strong and with the numbers that we needed,” coach Neil Macmillan said.
Those four cards were half the number issued to Ohio during the 2016 season where it had one of the lowest total number of cards in the country.
This year, the team has picked up cards in all but four games, totaling 14, with two games left in the regular season.
“It's very difficult sometimes when you have such a good year last year,” Macmillan said. “You assume that that's okay and we haven't done a lot on discipline tackling because we were very good at that last year and so then that hurts us.”
Green, yellow and red cards are issued when the referee decides there has been unsportsmanlike conduct by a player, coach or team bench.
Green cards mean the player must sit on the sideline for two minutes with the team down a player before re-entering the game. Yellow cards are more serious, resulting in a minimum of a five-minute suspension from play.
Red cards are extremely uncommon as only four have been issued up to this point of the season. They are only for when a player commits an egregious act that they must be suspended from the rest of the game.
Playing with less players means that the tactics must change slightly as players move around to cover the hole left by the carded player either defensively or offensively, depending on the situation of the game.
“We don't like to change our game too much because we like to stick with our game plan but it's just like in the back of our minds, like awareness that we need to be a little bit more defensive than offensive," Karynne Baker said.
The issuing of cards has been fair for all teams, Macmillan said, as Ohio is not having an abnormally large number of cards compared to other teams. They are still on the lower end for teams in the Mid-American Conference.
"We always try not to get cards but things happen, a lot of cards are just like stupid mistakes and some of them are unintentional,” Baker said.
Correction: A previous version of this report misspelled Neil Macmillan's name. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.