Ohio made two mistakes in the first half that led to goals, and it couldn’t generate enough scoring chances to make up for it.
An Ohio giveaway allowed Buffalo to take the lead just 13 minutes into the match, which started a downward spiral for the Bobcats where Buffalo dominated for the first 30 minutes. Ohio got back into the match after that, but it wasn’t enough to make up for its early defensive miscues, and it suffered a 2-0 loss Sunday to the Bulls.
Coming off a double-overtime tie against Akron on Thursday, the Bobcats had a big opportunity to turn this into a four-point weekend of Mid-American Conference play.
That opportunity looked even better as their opponent had to play at Chessa Field where the Bobcats are 4-3 this season. The Bulls (6-6-0, 3-3-0 MAC) prior to the match had a 2-4 record on the road.
Ohio’s opportunity, however, quickly disappeared when it turned over the ball at midfield in the 13th minute. Buffalo took advantage of the giveaway, and its sophomore Katherine Camper lashed a left-footed strike past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Sydney Malham and into the top corner.
After conceding the first goal, Malham blocked a Buffalo shot back into the middle of the box, and Buffalo’s Annie Judasz was the first to react to the rebound. She shot the ball past Malham, who was still on the ground, and scored the game’s last goal.
The Bobcats’ comeback attempt was noticeable, and they had their strongest moments in it. In the second half, Ohio (7-6-1, 2-3-1 MAC) really began to pressure the Buffalo defense.
Sophomore Abby Townsend asserted herself and helped create decent scoring chances. The Bulls defense didn’t break, however, behind the play of their senior captain, Gurjeena Jandu. She seemed to repel every ball that Ohio put into the box and dominated in the air and on the ground.
Jandu’s strong stop to the Bobcats’ attack wasn’t the only thing that stopped them, though. Ohio, on the few good scoring opportunities it had, couldn’t finish them. This has been a common theme for the Bobcats over the past few weeks. Ohio scored 16 goals in its first five matches but has only scored nine in its last nine.
“It’s a confidence thing. We got to be willing to take the chances,” coach Aaron Rodgers said. “It’s definitely something that we need to address in training.”
The loss drops Ohio to seventh place in the MAC more than halfway through the conference season. The Bobcats will need to figure out their finishing because with only five MAC matches left, they are in danger of dropping out of the conference tournament if they cannot turn it around.
The Bobcats are back in action next weekend at Chessa Field against Central Michigannon Friday and Eastern Michigan on Sunday.