BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - Ohio Soccer opened Mid-American Conference play on Friday night in Bowling Green, beating the Falcons by a final score of 1-0. Erin Schwenke's goal in the 46th minute proved the difference in the match and extended the Bobcats' winning streak to six matches.
Friday's win marks the second straight season in which the Bobcats have kicked off Mid-American Conference play with a victory. Ohio defeated Eastern Michigan by a score of 1-0 in Athens last season at the outset of the conference schedule.
Ohio (6-3, 1-0 MAC) outshot Bowling Green by an impressive 18-7 margin. The Bobcats also held the edge in shots on goal, 6-4. By shutting out the Falcons on Friday night, Ohio has allowed just one goal in the last 585 minutes of game action.
Mattie Liston (Lakewood, Ohio) recorded her fifth shutout of the season. The junior made four saves to earn the 15th shutout of her career. Liston is one save away from 224 in her career, which would put her in a tie for second place all-time in the Ohio record book. Vanessa Dennis (1998-01) holds the top spot in program history with 284 saves.
The two teams battled through a scoreless first half, with Ohio holding an 8-5 edge in total shots. Erin Schwenke (Solon, Ohio) and Grace Campbell (Wadsworth, Ohio) each registered one shot on goal for the Bobcats. Liston was tested twice in the first half as well, stopping shots from Demy Whitaker and Madeline Wideman in the 13th and 18th minutes, respectively.
Ohio didn't waste any time at the start of the second half, scoring a goal just 44 seconds in when Holly Harris (Batavia, Ohio) played in a pass to Schwenke, who found the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
The `Cats kept up this pressure right after the opening goal, fighting hard to find a second. Harris ripped a shot on target in the 48th minute and Maggie Murnane (Libertyville, Ill.) rose up to direct a header towards the goal in the 50th minute. Bowling Green goalkeeper Jenna Underwood was equal to each task and made the saves to keep her team facing only a one-goal deficit.
Bowling Green (1-8, 0-1 MAC) put together a nice offensive spell in the middle stages of the second half, peppering Liston with two shots in rapid succession. Wideman tested her with a shot on goal in the 55th minute before Kaitlyn Tobin added one of her own a minute later. Liston was ready and stopped both attempts.
The Bobcats will next be in action on Sunday afternoon at Central Michigan. Ohio and the Chippewas will kick off at 2:30 p.m.