Women’s soccer claws back but falls just short to Ohio in a MAC opening 2-1 loss

By Marcel Carrasco

DeKALB — Two goals were enough for the Ohio University Bobcats to defeat the women’s soccer team Friday in the Huskies’ Mid-American Conference opener.

The match was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Soccer and Track and Field Complex in DeKalb, but inclimate weather pushed the match to 5 p.m. indoors at the Mercyhealth Sportscore Two in Loves Park.

First-year forward Julia Neary scored the lone goal for NIU. Neary’s goal is her second of the season. Senior defender Jennie Nailor provided the assist, her first of the season and the second of her Huskie career.

Ohio sophomore forward Abby Townsend scored the opening goal of the match, putting the Bobcats up in the 25th minute. Townsend was assisted by first-year forward Maddie Young. Young also contributed to the second goal, scoring in the 49th minute.

Sophomore midfielder Kylee Hermeyer led NIU in shots with a season-high three shots, putting two on frame.

Junior goalkeeper Megan Donnally started between the posts for NIU and posted six saves on 19 shots faced. The Huskies’ six saves are her second-most this season. Donnally had two saves in the first half and four in the second half.

The Huskies started off on the right foot when junior forward Haley Hoppe attempted the first shot of the game three minutes in, but her shot went off target. Things became complicated for NIU, as it failed to post another shot in the first half.

“The biggest thing was the lack of organization [in the defense],” Colhoff said. “I think in the second half we changed that. We were able to play collectively defensively.”

Colhoff said it felt good to get a goal in the second half, and she is proud of the way the Huskies reacted. Colhoff said she hopes her team builds off of this performance.

The Huskies have now lost in back-to-back matches, which is the first time this season. However, they have a chance to snap their losing rutt Sunday when they face Kent State University. Kent State will have back-to-back matches this weekend, as it plays Saturday against Western Michigan University before heading to DeKalb for Sunday’s match.

The Huskies have trailed in six of their eight games this season, going 0-5-1 in those matches. NIU is winless at home this season, and Colhoff said her team needs to find balance in order to perform.

“We need organization from our backline early on,” Colhoff said. “We need forwards who want to get the goal and midfielders who are willing to commit to outwork their other team from start to finish.”

The NIU-KSU game time is set for 2 p.m. at the Soccer and Track and Field Complex.