Kristen Buchanan, Ohio junior, hits the ball in front of Shelby Supica, Michigan State junior midfield, during the Ohio vs Michigan State. Ohio beat Michigan State 4-1.
Although the Bobcats had a questionable effort against the Bears on Friday, the effort was present against the Spartans two days later.
From the start of the game, Ohio (6-6, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) was aggressive, not letting Michigan State (5-9) get easy looks at the cage.
The Bobcats would beat the Spartans, (4-1) earning their first win against the Big Ten this season after losing to Missouri State, 2-0.
Though the Bobcats had better effort on both ends of the field, their defense is what stood out.
Goalkeeper Lina Trucco only had to make three saves, as Rachel Kho and Adele Sammons were able to break up plays. Kho mentioned the importance of reading the Spartan’s holes on offense.
“I think just popping into the pocket (was important) and seeing where they were going to pass the ball, and seeing where the ball was going as opposed to where it was,” Kho said.
The Bobcats’ play on defense allowed them to eventually break the game open on offense, as the game was tied 0-0 until late in the first half.
Sammons scored Ohio’s first goal of the game — her fifth of the season. Sammons also led the team in shots as well, tallying four against Michigan State.
“I think when we break them down, when they were offset, they weren’t as good at trapping the ball,” Sammons said. “I think we tried to get the ball down the field, tried to open up channels with our midfield, hit it through that way and we were able to connect.”
Shortly after Sammons’ goal, the Spartans would score a goal at the end of the half to tie the game 1-1 heading into halftime.
The beginning of the second half was much like the first — an offensive stalemate, as both teams weren’t able to get any goals to go into the cage.
But the stalemate would not last for long, as senior Clarissa Leickly would score a goal off the team’s fourth corner.
The Bobcats would continue to break the game open with goals coming from Maria Russell and Elena Curley. Coach Neil Macmillan said the team’s production on offense was better than the team’s play against the Bears.
“I think it was just a combination of a lot good attacks that we had. I think in the second half, with the second goal quickly followed by the third really put the icing on the cake,” Macmillan said.
As Ohio prepares for its next two home games against Ball State and Longwood, the mix of quality effort and execution is something the Bobcats could focus on.
“I mean, after Friday we needed a confidence booster, so to score four goals today will really help with us,” Sammons said
The Bobcats effort against the Bears on Friday was not like of their effort against the Spartans, however. Ohio would fail to score a goal against Missouri State, the first time Ohio has been held scoreless all season.
With Ohio taking its first loss in the Mid-American Conference on Friday to Missouri State (5-9), the Bobcats’ consistency has fluctuated.
The Bobcats would lose to the Bears, 2-0, despite outshooting the Bears, 10-6. Recently, the Bobcats have been able to get looks at the cage, shooting 57 shots in their last four games, but only eight of them have resulted in a goal.
“We had, again, the better of the opportunity,” Macmillan said. “We created more shots and corners than Missouri State, and we, unfortunately, let them finish their opportunities off better than we took our opportunities ourselves.”