By: Edward Perez – Staff Writer
The Dayton women’s soccer team lost a tough battle, 2-1, against Ohio State in their home opener of the 2015 season. The stands were jam-packed with a crowd of 2,102 supporters to mark the second highest attendace in the history of the women’s soccer program. The record of 2,763 was set in 2012 in a game against Boston University.
The match kicked off intensely for the Flyers, with several plays in the first 20 minutes almost ending in goals. But midway into the first half, the Buckeyes began to dominate possession of the ball and put the Flyers in a position in which they were forced to defend for nearly the remainder of the match.
The Flyers defense kept the game level, until a loose ball inside the Flyers’ box hit the feet of OSU’s forward Nichelle Prince, who put it past UD’s first-year goalkeeper, Kaelyn Johns. Ten minutes later, OSU returned to the net, after a shot outside the 18-yard box from Buckeye forward Lindsay Agnew snuck past Johns.
The momentum of the game shifted in favor of the Flyers when a free kick in the 87th minute raised hope for the Flyers. Senior midfielder and captain Nicole Waters scored a free kick to cut the deficit in half to 2-1. It wasn’t enough for the Flyers, as they were unable to convert a couple of late chances to salvage a tie. The defeat marks the team’s third straight loss to begin the season.
The final statistics were almost even between the two teams, with OSU besting the Flyers in shots on goal, 8-7. The Buckeyes also earned six corner kicks to Dayton’s five.
Coach Mike Tucker said if his team showed the same effort they had last night in the first two games of the season, they could have faced the Buckeyes with a 2-0 record.
“We were just kind of dancing around the field and made no conviction,” Tucker said. “Early on, I thought we had some good attack going. Then we went a long period without having the ball much, and we go two-to-nothing down and decide to run at them and put pressure on them and look what we created.”
Tucker says it is important for the team to believe in themselves if they want to win the next match.
Tucker explained their attack fell when senior forward Ashley Campbell came off the field 19 minutes into the first half due to a groin strain. She returned to begin the second half and played the rest of the way, recording one shot on goal. He adds the attacking team isn’t the same without her leadership on the field.
“It’s hard to say someone played poorly,” Tucker said. “I thought we played well all over. We just made a couple of mistakes that you can’t do against a good team.”
The team faces another tough opponent, Michigan State, whom they fell to in 2013 with a score of 2-1. The Flyers head to East Lansing, Michigan, this Sunday to face the Spartans before their next home game against Nebraska Sept. 4.