Ohio’s Franziska Schmiedel drives toward the goal guarded by Kent State’s Rebecca Lee. Ohio clinched the victory against Kent State 3-2 in double overtime.
Ohio’s opening weekend showed signs of improvement from last year, yet there were also some hiccups.
With a 2-0 win against Saint Francis — a team that went 14-3 last season — Ohio could meet its high expectations set earlier in the year.
The team’s improvement on offense showed against the Red Flash early on, as senior Clarissa Leickly scored off a corner assist from senior Adele Sammons in the game’s fourth minute. Leickly finished with one goal and an assist on the weekend.
With the Bobcats’ offense improved, coach Neil Macmillan said scoring early helped motivate the team early on.
“That was an outstanding way to start the game, with getting a corner. We did a really good job on execution of those,” Macmillan said. “We couldn’t have started any better.”
Ohio had quality execution off its corners throughout the weekend, shooting eight to Saint Francis’ seven.
The Bobcats’ second goal against The Red Flash came from sophomore Maria Russell with an assist from Leickly.
The Bobcats’ quick offense gave The Red Flash trouble and their defense played solidly as well. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Lina Trucco got her first career start, garnering a career-high six saves.
Macmillan said Trucco’s play in the back allowed the Bobcats’ defense to set up well.
“Lina’s positioning was great,” Macmillan said. “She was right where she needed to be pretty much the whole time.”
Macmillan said winning the season opener is good for Ohio’s confidence moving forward. With Macmillan as head coach, the Bobcats are only 5-6 during his 11-year tenure.
“It’s great for us, because the last couple of years, we haven’t started with a win,” Macmillan said. “Getting that gives the team a sense of belief right from the start of the season.”
Ohio did not have much time to revel in its season-opening win, traveling to play Lock Haven University Sunday and losing, 2-1. Trucco finished the game with two saves.
Both teams relied on their defense early on, as Lock Haven scored the first goal of the game in the 32nd minute. However, shortly before the first period ended, Russell scored a game-tying goal. Russell would finish the weekend with two goals in two games.
The Bald Eagles would go on to score in the 55th minute to edge the Bobcats and hand them their first loss of the season — just two days after Ohio’s season opener.
The Bobcats’ offense did not have as much firepower on Sunday, taking only five shots compared to the 12 they took against The Red Flash.
“Disappointed with today. We controlled large periods of the game. We moved the ball and defensed the ball quite well,” Macmillan said. “To come out on the wrong side of it is a little disappointing because the opportunities on both ends were pretty limited.”