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Ohio University midfielder Haley Miller (#10) stopping the ball mid air against the opposing team Kent State at Chessa Field on Thursday Oct. 28th, 2021.

Soccer: Ohio ends regular season in scoreless draw with Kent State

For the third time this season, Ohio ended a match in a draw. This draw, however, cost it the No. 1 seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

Ohio (11-4-3, 7-1-3 MAC) battled Kent State through two overtime periods for a chance at winning the regular season conference title and the first seed in the MAC Tournament. But despite its best efforts, Ohio failed to score. After 110 minutes of game time, its match against Kent State ended in a scoreless draw. 

The lack of goals didn’t come from a lack of offense. The Bobcats notched 24 shots while the Golden Flashes put up 17 of their own. The Bobcats haven’t recorded more than 20 shots in a match since they faced Cleveland State on Sept. 12.

Kent State (11-4-3, 7-1-3 MAC) controlled possession with 14 corner kicks. Despite this, Ohio locked down on defense and suffocated any opportunities Kent State might have had to score. Kent State managed just three shots on goal, all of which came in the first half. 

Abby Townsend led the Bobcats on offense and was relentless near the Flashes’ goal. Townsend recorded seven shots Thursday, including four on goal. No other player on either team ended the match with more than one shot on goal.

There were opportunities for Ohio to break the deadlock. It barraged Kent State with three consecutive shots in early in the second half, but all three missed their mark. A shot by Shae Robertson rocketed off the left goalpost and another by Townsend was tipped off the top by Kent State goalkeeper Sarah Melen. 

There were plenty of chances for Ohio to score, including a missed penalty kick. The failed opportunities left Ohio without a goal, but coach Aaron Rodgers wasn’t pessimistic.

I thought we played really well,” Rodgers said. “We created a lot of chances, we imposed our style. I mean, we outshot them, we had more shots on goal … and Kent is obviously a really good team. 

Ohio goalkeeper Sam Wexell recorded three saves in the first half. Wexell also notched her ninth shutout of the season, which is the second-most shutouts in a single season by a goalkeeper in program history.

But Wexell’s shutout and Townsend’s offensive performance weren’t enough. Ohio ended the match with its third tie of the season. It recorded just two shots over the course of both overtime periods.

The Bobcats lost their chance to be the No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament. Without a conclusive winner, Ohio and Kent State now share second place in the conference standings after former-third place Bowling Green defeated Toledo to take both first place and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Bowling Green is the regular season champions, and Ohio is left with a bitter taste in its mouth.

The tie isn’t a mood killer. Ohio is the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament. Ohio is in good position for the postseason and Rodgers is proud of the team’s performance throughout its conference schedule.

“Proud of their effort, proud of the body of work that they put together this conference season,“ Rodgers said. “And you know, it's just been such a gritty road, and then just to take some time to recover over the next couple days, and then we're going to be raring to go.”

@imchristosiegel

cs093219@ohio.edu 

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