Ohio secured the third win in its Mid-American Conference schedule with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Toledo on Sunday. The only goal of the match was scored in the 70th minute by Sarina Dirrig from an assist by Ally Campanella.
Ohio’s (7-3-1, 3-0-1 MAC) defense exceeded expectations against a Toledo team that had shown offensive prowess throughout the season. Sam Wexell was the X-factor for the Bobcats, allowing zero of Toledo’s six shots on goal to hit the back of the net. Wexell made many big saves when needed the most and provided a solid safety net for the defense.
Ohio coach Aaron Rodgers spoke highly of Wexell, the surrounding defense and his players’ tenacity and work ethic during matches and in practice.
“They’ve been working hard together,“ Rodgers said. “They’ve been putting in extra work, they’ve been putting in time before and after practice, and it’s paying off.”
Ohio’s offense only managed to muster up two quality looks on goal throughout the contest, one of which being scored on by Dirrig. While Ohio lacked in regards to their shots on goal, they made up for it with their precise passing and control of the ball. The Bobcats had far fewer turnovers than Toledo and kept possession of the ball more efficiently for most of the match. Ohio will have to continue excelling at keeping control of the ball if they want to advance further in the MAC.
The physicality from both sides came through, as there were a total of 18 fouls called during the match as well as two yellow cards given to the Rockets in the second half.
Ohio matched Toledo’s physicality well throughout the contest. Rodgers seemed pleased with his squad’s response to Toledo’s physical presence.
“I think Toledo has a good team,“ Rodgers said. “They’re having a great season so far, and they play with a lot of intensity, and we knew they were going to press the ball all over the place. We knew they were going to be scrappy. We just came from a game against [Bowling Green] on Thursday that was super intense and super physical, so I think we were ready for that and we were able to match it again today. Today, as opposed to Thursday, we scored a goal to get the room.”
Hopes are high for the Bobcats as they improve their record and remain undefeated within the MAC.