Ohio, after sneaking its way into the Mid-American Conference Tournament, has had its postseason hopes cut short. It was defeated 1-0 in the MAC Tournament semifinals by Miami, the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
The Bobcats had lost to the RedHawks in the regular season before, but that match had been dragged into double overtime. They weren’t that lucky Friday. RedHawks strike Paula Peña scored in the 47th minute, and the Bobcats couldn’t tie to force overtime.
Also unlike Ohio’s previous matchup with Miami was the lack of offense. In the two programs’ last match on Oct. 22, they combined for a total of seven goals.
But the Bobcats weren’t denied chances of their own throughout the match. They notched 12 shots with six shots on goal Friday, and they even outshot the RedHawks in the third period. Four of Ohio’s shots came thanks to Katelyn Whittle, who led the team in both shots and shots on goal.
Ohio wasn’t able to keep pace with Miami, however. Miami ended the match with 19 total shots and eight shots on goal. Ohio goalkeeper Nele Graner managed six saves, including five in the second period alone, but Peña’s shot in the fourth period snuck past her. Graner ended the season sixth in the conference for saves per match, averaging 4.39.
The Bobcats’ season ended once again in disappointment. They have finished with a losing record for the second consecutive season. The last time Ohio ended a year with a winning record was 2011. Ohio might also be losing seven of its upperclassmen to graduation after this season, meaning it will have plenty of gaps in the ranks to fill.
Ohio wasn’t able to end the year on a high note. However, it did make the MAC Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2018. If Ohio can hold onto anything after this season, it is that it was on the brink of fighting for a MAC Championship.