Updated Thu, Aug 15, 2013 3:33 pm
The Ohio soccer team kicked off its 2013 season and the Aaron Rodgers coaching era with a 0-0 tie in an exhibition match against UNC-Greensboro. The Bobcats put up eight shots on goal in three 30-minute periods, compared to UNC-Greensboro’s five, but neither team found the back of the net in Thursday’s match.
Ohio’s best offensive attack came in the second period, when the team put up five of its eight shots on goal. The Bobcats had control of the ball in the attacking third for most of the period, but failed to take advantage on several scoring opportunities.
The Spartans had the advantage in the third period, but Ohio’s defense kept the pressure on its three goalies – Nicole Amari, Mattie Liston and Rachel Fryan – to a minimum.
Rodgers’ first starting lineup of his Ohio career had an interesting change from last season, as Amari started over Liston at goalkeeper.
Liston, who’s entering her senior year, became Ohio’s all-time saves leader last season with 296 saves, while her backup, Amari, played in two games for the Bobcats last year.
Liston had more control on the field, making aggressive saves and helping Ohio get into the offensive attack with her strong leg, but she didn’t get into the game until the 40th minute.
The Bobcats’ strength from last year was their defense, and that was the case against the Spartans. Ohio returns three of its four starters from last year and the Bobcats look poised to improve even more in the back four.
Alexis Milesky and Carly Manso, two of the top newcomers on the Ohio squad, both started and played well in their first match under Rodgers. Maggie Murnane, Grace Campbell and Gabby Hausfeld, all of whom started last season, looked solid in their respective positions to start the season.
The Bobcats’ regular season will start next Friday, Aug. 23, in a home match against Indiana. The Hoosiers bested Ohio last season, 4-2. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.