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Ohio's Ella Bianco (#14) kicks the ball during the Ohio versus Northern Kentucy match at Chessa Field on Thursday, Sep. 9, 2021. Ohio lost 1-0.

Soccer: Ohio loses a close match against Toledo 1-0 at home

Ohio (4-6-2, 2-3 Mid-American Conference) continued its season against MAC opponents with a home matchup against Toledo (5-5-2, 2-2-1 MAC) on Thursday in which it fell 1-0. The Bobcats entered with a four-game winning streak against the Rockets and looked to extend that streak to keep up in the standings for a possible spot in the MAC tournament.

At the beginning of the match, Ohio started hot on offense by dominating possession for most of the first 15 minutes. Ohio was passing well but could not break through a sturdy Toledo defense.

In the 21st minute, Toledo forward Kaema Amachree found space in the Ohio box and was able to put a shot past the outstretched hand of Ohio goalkeeper Celeste Sloma into the back of the net, putting the Rockets up 1-0 early.

The rest of the first half witnessed both teams perform excellent defense against one another. Ohio had dominated time-of-possession but could not connect on its shot attempts.

The defense was performing extremely well, and Ohio managed to keep the deficit to just one with some crucial plays. Ohio defender Ella Bianco stepped in for Celeste Sloma and saved a wide-open Toledo shot from scoring late in the first half to keep the team in the match.

Ohio’s offense picked up the pace in the second half and created numerous quality shot opportunities. Ohio managed 12 shots in the second half while holding Toledo to zero shots. 

Although Ohio’s offense showcased many signs of improvement in the second half of getting past Toledo defenders and getting shots in space, only four of 12 were on goal, and none were able to score for Ohio. The Bobcats ended up being defeated by the Rockets 1-0 when time expired.

This matchup drops Ohio to No. 8 in the MAC soccer standings while Toledo moves up to No. 6, replacing Ohio. 

This match was a clear improvement across the board for this Ohio team, even though it resulted in another scoreless defeat. The offense of Ohio was more impressive than in any recent matchup, while the defense produced one of the most dominant outings it has had this season. 

The players of the match were earned by Ohio midfielder Hailey Miller and defender Quintin Tostevin. Miller had a very productive day, coming off the bench and picking up three shots with two on target to spark the Ohio offense. Tostevin played 70 minutes for the Bobcats in this match, anchoring a formidable unit that limited Toledo to zero shots in the second half. She also recorded a shot herself.

While Ohio did suffer a tough loss to an opponent, it outperformed in time-of-possession, shots and corner kicks. However, it was unable to turn open opportunities into points. Ohio will build on the momentum it built on offense in this matchup to make a run at a spot in the MAC tournament during the season's final stretch. 

Ohio will return to action on Sunday with a road trip to face Western Michigan in a vital MAC matchup.

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