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Saturday, October 23, 2021
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Women’s soccer drops first in-conference game to Ohio, draws in double overtime against Kent State

The Bulls lost 2-1 against Ohio on the road and tied Kent State 0-0 at UB Stadium

Riley Bowers (7) prepares for a kick during a women's soccer game last season.
Riley Bowers (7) prepares for a kick during a women's soccer game last season.

UB women’s soccer (6-2-1, 0-1-1 MAC) dropped its Mid-American Conference opener against the Ohio Bobcats (6-3, 2-0 MAC), 2-1, on Thursday evening at Chessa Field in Athens, OH. The Bulls then returned home to face the Kent State Golden Flashes (5-3-1, 1-0-1 MAC) on Sunday afternoon, where they drew 0-0 in a wild double overtime match. 

The loss snaps a six-game winning streak for the Bulls and a four-game shutout streak.

The Bulls started off strong on Thursday, as a left-footed shot by senior midfielder Katherine Camper tested Ohio’s goalkeeper Sam Wexell early in the first half. At the eight-minute mark, UB was able to capitalize on a corner kick by senior defender Abbey Callaghan, who crossed the ball to senior defender Tess Ford who headed it in to take an early 1-0 lead. 

The Bobcats responded with a swift counter attack down the right flank led by Ohio senior forward Abby Townsend. Townsend’s cross inside the box managed to find graduate student forward Madison Clayton to tie the game 1-1. 

The Bobcats’ goal was the first goal conceded by the Bulls since their overtime win against Yale on Aug. 27.

The Bulls dominated possession at the end of the half but were unable to break the 1-1 stalemate in the first half.

Ohio came out aggressive in the second half, as the Bobcats tested goalkeeper Emily Kelly twice in the opening five minutes. At the 82-minute mark, Ohio scored the winning goal following a cross from Clayton that senior midfielder Hayley Miller headed in. 

The Bulls desperately searched for an equalizer in the closing minutes but the Bobcats’ defense was too much. 

The loss was the Bulls second of the season, with the first being a 0-4 defeat to West Virginia in the first game of the season. The Bulls’ 2-1 loss to the Bobcats marked the first time UB has lost to Ohio since 2018.  

On Sunday afternoon, the Bulls attempted to bounce back for a home-field matchup against the Kent State Golden Flashes.  

The game saw a standout performance from both goalkeepers with Kent State junior Sarah Melén blocking 14 shots while UB senior Emily Kelly recorded a career-high 11 saves.  

In the first half, senior midfielder Marcy Barberic created clear opportunities for the Bulls, including an impressive one-two play that resulted in a clear shot at the 15-minute mark. Kent State senior forward Khyla Porter responded with two early shots to test Kelly. The first half finished evenly matched with the Golden Flashes outshooting the Bulls nine to eight.  

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The second half was more of the same, with both teams going back and forth in search of a goal. An early shot by freshman defender Alya Ruken was tipped away by Melén, keeping the deadlock at 0-0. The Golden Flashes responded with a shot at the 69-minute mark  and another at the 77-minute mark, but Kelly was there once again for the stop. 

After a scoreless 90 minutes, the game was forced to not one, but two overtime periods, where the Bulls dominated time on attack and possession. UB outshot Kent State a combined eight shots to two in both overtime periods but were unable to find the back of the net, ending in a draw. 

After winning six straight games to close out non-conference play, the Bulls find themselves in eighth place in the MAC standings. UB will look to bounce back when the Bulls host the Ball State Cardinals at UB Stadium on Thursday, Sep. 30 at 7 p.m. 

The sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com 

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