Jillian Shive received the ball from Brittany Keen deep in Ball State territory, with only an approaching goalie standing in between her and scoring her second goal of the day as the fourth quarter began.
Shive had limited time to score as the goalie slid in front of her, and she hit the ball several feet in the air toward the goal. There were no defenders left in the area, and Shive scored as the ball sailed into the net to give the Bobcats a three-goal lead.
The junior was one of many dominant players for Ohio (7-5, 4-1 Mid-American Conference) in its 3-0 victory over the Cardinals (3-11, 1-3 MAC) Friday at Pruitt Field. Not only was the offense consistent in maintaining possession, but the defense had a strong presence as well and allowed the Cardinals to record only three shots.
Ohio got off to a strong start when redshirt sophomore Tayla Hansen scored her third goal of the season to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead with an assist from junior Emma Spinetto.
“I knew that I needed to be out there and giving it all for my team,” Hansen said. “Getting that first (goal) really meant a lot, and I knew that it meant that we had a good start to the game, and that it gave us a good go of winning.”
Hansen’s goal was the only score from either team in the first half, but the close score was misleading, as the Bobcats outshot the Cardinals 10-3 in the first two quarters. While the Bobcats only scored on one of those shots, they were effective in maintaining possession throughout the entire half.
It was the same story for the rest of the match, and it was Shive who ensured the Bobcats had enough cushion to finish the job.
Like most of the victories for the Bobcats this season, possession was a key component for their strong performance.
“(Possession) is something that we keep practicing,” coach Ali Johnstone said. “It’s hard to play against a team that is keeping possession. It’s tough morally when you throw the ball away, or you give it to the other team. When you focus on those details and keep the possession, it builds so much confidence.”
The Bobcats will be back in action next Sunday when they host Indiana (4-10) at Pruitt Field. The match is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.