Ohio’s season is back on track. The Bobcats came out with a 3-0 victory over Akron on Sunday for its first win of the season.
The positives from the first two matches of the season finally came together in one cohesive performance. Ohio was able to combine their chance creation from its first match against Miami, its stout defense from the match against Bowling Green, and add some finishing touches to come out with a dominant win.
After they played well in their first two matches but were unable to get results, the Bobcats did not want to let the early losses have an impact on their attitude.
“It’s the beginning, we need to keep going from here,” said freshman forward Izzi Boyd, who scored Ohio’s second goal of the match. “The past two games didn’t define us. I’m glad we’re on the right track.”
Boyd’s goal was a major turning point for Ohio. An Akron own goal had put the Bobcats up 1-0, 21 minutes into the half, and the team continued to press but were unable to find success. Five minutes before half time, a Carsyn Prigge shot was blocked and fell to Boyd. She took it and found the bottom corner to put Ohio up 2-0.
Ohio picked up right where it left off in the second half. It dominated the rest of the game and got a third goal through freshman transfer Shae Robertson.
It was a complete win for the Bobcats. They shut down Akron’s attack, only allowing one shot the entire match, and goalkeeper Sydney Malham did not have to make a save all afternoon.
Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers knew where this team was headed and that they were going in the right direction. On Sunday, it looked like the team knew it too.
“We know what we’re capable of, and I think staying true to the process, staying connected and committed to each other, we knew this was going to come,” said Rodgers.
In Ohio’s first home game against Miami, finishing was the main problem for the Bobcats. The team has clearly spent a lot of time on that, and it showed on Sunday.
“We created a lot of chances against Miami last week, couldn’t finish, but we were able to finish those off today,” said Rodgers.
This game can be a stepping stone for the Bobcats, as they got strong performances from players expected to play well, like juniors Olivia Sensky and Abby Townsend, but some young players like Boyd and Robertson also stepped up.
Sensky and Townsend will be vitally important for the Bobcats this season, and while Sensky has played well all year, it took Townsend a few matches to find her feet.
“Early on this season, (Townsend) was struggling with a couple of little injuries, so she wasn’t fully fit,” said Rodgers. “Today she was as close to full fitness as she’s been, and her pace keeps teams honest.”
If Townsend continues to get healthier and dominate games like she did on Sunday, the Bobcats are in a strong position for the rest of the shortened season.
Ohio will be back in action on March 18 at Kent State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.