Ohio won its match against Ball State on Friday afternoon in a 3-0 blowout. With the win, the Bobcats shift their overall record to 3-7 and their Mid-American Conference record to 1-1. They gain some much-needed momentum to continue their season in a positive direction.
A huge bright spot for Ohio was its impressive defensive play. The Bobcats excelled at keeping the ball in the Cardinals’ territory and consistently regained possession. In just the first half of the match, Ohio held Ball State to one shot on goal. Midfielder Jillian Shive credited the defensive success to the team’s communication and execution.
“Communication as a group and a unit,“ Shive said. “Knowing who the off-ball player was, pushing them off to pressure at the right times and then just checking off our shoulders and knowing where our marks are was really key for us to staying well and aggressive.”
Despite a scoreless first period, the Ohio offense began to click as the match continued. In the first two minutes of the second period, Shive recorded her first goal of the day on a penalty corner with an assist from defender Leah Warren. This goal was followed by an attack on the Ball State defense that resulted in another goal from Shive assisted by forward Noa Desmaretz with 10 minutes remaining before halftime.
As they returned to the field after halftime, the Bobcats looked to protect their lead and put the match on ice. They were successful, as they held the Cardinals’ offense to just four total shots in the final two periods. However, before the match concluded, defender Kaelyn Long delivered one final blow to Ball State with a goal in the final minutes of the match.
Coach Ali Johnstone praised her team after the match, saying that the win was a result of their level-headedness and dedication.
“I think our team was really composed and kept to the game plan,” Johnstone added. “They came away with a really strong victory because of it.”
The Bobcats will take this momentum into the next week as they prepare for their upcoming match against Appalachian State on Oct. 1.