With just two regular season matches left, Ohio sits atop the Mid-American Conference leaderboards after it downed Eastern Michigan 2-1 Thursday at Chessa Field.
Shae Robertson was Ohio’s (11-3-2, 7-0-2 MAC) hero, knocking in a header on a beautiful pass from Regan Berg. Ohio took the lead in the 72nd minute and never looked back.
“I just looked to the side to make sure I wasn’t offsides or anything,” Robertson said. “I was just really proud we came back and improved our performance from the first half, because it wasn't our best, but we knew we had to fix it and that’s what we did.”
Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers was impressed too, commenting on just how spectacular the goal was.
“You know, she’s not the flashiest or maybe not the strongest, but she just never stops,“ Rodgers said. “She just keeps going and keeps going and is relentless, and that’s what makes her the player that she is.”
Ohio earned its win in gritty fashion, as the result was never a given. In the 43rd minute, Eastern Michigan connected on a series of passes to throw goalkeeper Sam Wexell off her game. Getting Wexell to bite left the goal open and created a scoring opportunity for Eastern Michigan to capitalize on.
The Bobcats came into the second half of the match firing. Haley Miller fired a laser into the top middle of the net in the 50th minute, setting the match score even and giving Ohio the spark it needed to finish Eastern Michigan. Miller led all players with six shots in the contest.
Even without scoring too much, Ohio’s elite shooting ability was on full display. It delivered 19 shots, with eight landing on goal. Eastern Michigan was unable to keep up, firing just eight shots on the day and one on goal for its only score of the match.
Physicality and defense were key points of Thursday’s face-off. Paige Knorr’s defensive prowess was once again prevalent, dominating midfield and helping keep Wexell’s zone intact. Ohio also put on a passing clinic, finding open looks and creating fast breaks left and right. The Bobcats communicated well and were extremely vocal in helping each other succeed on the pitch.
The Bobcats are confident and poised in the face of adversity. They’ve proven to be able to recover and come back while trailing at halftime.
“This happened against Buffalo too, we went down and we came back. We’ve been in this position before,“ Robertson said. “We knew we’d come back and had a good feeling about it. It wasn’t over and we knew what we were capable of.”
The Bobcats are cruising through MAC play, remaining unbeaten by any conference opponents. With Thursday’s win, the Bobcats earned the right to a playoff match in the MAC tournament.