Ohio held its home opener at Chessa Field Thursday, hosting Marshall for the first time since 2018.
The Bobcats put their chemistry on display with fluid and calculated passes for the duration of the match. The Thundering Herd were scrappy and disruptive but couldn’t keep up with their opponent’s speed, which allowed the Bobcats to win their first home match of the season 2-0.
Goalkeeper Sam Wexell was under pressure when Marshall (0-3) spent several minutes near Ohio’s (2-0) goal to begin the match. The next 15 minutes showcased multiple corner kicks and saves from both Ohio and Marshall but none produced a goal. Marshall goalkeeper Courtney McVicker saved a shot from Madison Clayton to keep the match at 0-0 in the eighth minute.
The Bobcats then missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 18th minute as the Herd’s defense shut down a shot by Shae Robertson. The sophomore struck back not a minute later when her second shot of the match found the goal and the Bobcats took the lead.
Ohio continued to keep the ball on the opposing end of the pitch. It had two corner kicks and two shots between the 21st and 23rd minute but were unable to score.
The Bobcats were significantly faster than the Herd, which led to multiple fast break opportunities. The Herd were physical but couldn’t match the Bobcats’ speed.
Ohio was also able to escape defending its side and push downfield. At halftime it led Marshall 2-0, and it had 10 shots compared to Marshall’s three.
Ohio struggled to maintain its dominance in the second half. Marshall dug in and prevented fast breaks much easier than in the first half. The Herd was able to take more shots but the Bobcats contested many of them, and broke up any chance of a goal.
Ohio’s momentum was briefly interrupted when Julianna Farina was given a red card in the 79th minute. Despite this, Ohio held firm and prevented Marshall from scoring in the closing 10 minutes of the match.
The Bobcats ended the game with 15 shots with nine on goal, which tramped the Herd’s nine shots with five on goal. The Bobcats will try to remain undefeated when it hosts James Madison on Sunday.