Ohio produced one of its best performances of the season in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Sunday afternoon. The No. 6-seeded Bobcats traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and defeated No. 3 seed Western Michigan, 2-0.
The Bobcats dominated from the start and had solid scoring opportunities early on in the match. Eventually, one shot found the back of the net when they scored in the 50th minute.
Senior Sydney Leckie’s opening goal paved the way for Ohio to continue its control out on the pitch.
With six minutes gone in the second half, a long ball from senior Victoria Breeden fell to Leckie roughly 25 yards from the goal. She took a few touches and unleashed a rocket into the top corner, past the outstretched hands of Broncos goalie Maggie Rogers.
Ten minutes later, Leckie picked up a loose ball on the left wing and beat her defender. She drove to the end-ine and put a cross back into the center of the box for Ohio’s other clutch senior, Alivia Milesky, who guided the ball into the net. That goal was her eighth of the season, and she regained the team lead in points from Abby Townsend.
Both Milesky and Leckie have been crucial for the Bobcats this year. Each player has scored two match-winning goals this season. Leckie’s were in two of Ohio’s most important matches of the season. Counting the first round of the conference tournament, her second was in the senior day victory against Eastern Michigan.
Leckie’s goal against the Eagles with six minutes left in their regular season meeting at Chessa Field gave Ohio a massive win in the course of its season. Eastern Michigan also had its own late heroics recently, and it upset No. 2-seeded Ball State on a penalty kick in the final minute of play to clinch its spot in the MAC semifinals.
Ohio will take on the Eagles on Friday at Cochrane Stadium in Bowling Green, as the semifinals and finals of the MAC tournament take place at the home of the highest remaining seed.