It was another heartbreaker for Ohio on Sunday. For the second time this season, the Bobcats fell just short in overtime, this time suffering a 2-1 loss in double overtime to Buffalo.
This match, however, was the opposite of their overtime loss to Bowling Green from a couple weeks ago. In that match, the Bobcats were under pressure the whole time and eventually cracked in overtime. This time Ohio dominated for most of the match and had plenty of scoring chances but were unable to convert.
While the Bobcats struggled to finish, they were mostly solid on the defensive side of the ball. Their one main weakness throughout the game was the right side of their defense. Buffalo was able to get the ball in good positions on that side at numerous points during the match, but the final ball was never there.
Six minutes into the second overtime, Buffalo found itself just outside the box on the right side once again. This time, the ball cannoned off the foot of sophomore midfielder Leah Wengender and flew past Ohio goalkeeper Reese Dorsey into the top corner, giving Buffalo the win.
Being unable to finish chances has been a recurring theme for the Bobcats this season, and it has now come back to bite them for the second time. Ohio has now lost two matches, in which they had plenty of chances but could not convert enough of them to win.
As good as Ohio’s defense has been this season, the Bobcats need to be able to finish their chances if they want to have a chance at making the MAC championship game. It is still possible for Ohio to get there if they improve in the second half of the season, but this was a match they really needed to win.
Despite the loss, there were still a few bright spots for Ohio. The first was Abby Townsend, who continues to be the Bobcats’ most dangerous player. She consistently caused problems for Buffalo and created multiple chances that should have been scored.
Another bright spot was the continued solid performances from Ohio’s freshmen. Against Buffalo, Shae Robertson scored her second goal in the last three matches, and as the season goes on, the Bobcats’ young players should continue to improve.
The final bright spot was the play of goalkeeper Reese Dorsey, a sophomore who made her second appearance and first start for the Bobcats. Dorsey looked good in between the posts, making a number of solid saves and commanding her box well. With regular starter Sydney Malham in her senior year, the Bobcats need to figure out if they have an answer for next season, and Dorsey looks like she could be that.
The Bobcats will begin the second half of their season with a tough home match against Bowling Green next Sunday, a contest that could make or break their season.