Listen to Head Coach Neil MacMillian's Post Game Interview
Story Courtesy of Ohio Media Relations
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Bobcats earned a spot in the Mid-American Conference title game for the fourth time in the last five years by beating Central Michigan 2-1 on Friday. Marcy Dull scored the first goal for Ohio and Paige Herr scored the game-winner in the 64th minute.
The teams traded possession and opportunities in the first quarter-hour, with Katherine Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.) firing a shot on goal in the 12th minute. Melinda Curran of Central Michigan was equal to it and knocked it aside. Just moments later, Central came back with an opportunity of its own as Pam Seufert hit one towards goal. Courtney Seiders (Mt. Joy, Pa.) of Ohio was in perfect position and made the save.
Dull (Ephrata, Pa.) struck first for the Bobcats, scoring a goal in the 17th minute. The goal was assisted by freshman Cathryn Altdoerffer (Conestoga, Pa.) and came on a hard shot from eight yards out.
"Marcy played well as usual," said head coach Neil Macmillan. "The first goal was created by a great pass from Cathryn (Altdoerffer) and she just buried it near post. It was excellent."
Central fired another shot on goal just five minutes after Dull's tally, but yet again Seiders was equal to the task, batting it away and keeping the Ohio lead at one.
The Green and White absolutely peppered the recently-anointed First Team All-MAC Curran near the end of the first half, as Ballard, Dull and Herr (Lancaster, Pa.) fired a combined five shots on goal in the last five minutes. Curran was able to turn them all aside and not allow the Bobcats to take a two-goal lead into the locker room.
The second half started off rather defensively, with neither team getting a great opportunity at the opponent's net. This all changed in the 52nd minute when Lauren Leed of the Chippewas snuck a shot past Seiders. The play began with a shot by Kelly Jordan that was saved initially, but Leed was able to tuck in the rebound.
"Central Michigan deserves credit for putting us under pressure like they did," said Macmillan. "They really changed their tactics and created a lot of opportunities to put a great second half together."
The Bobcats fought hard to score the decisive tally and really stepped up the pressure in the final ten minutes of regulation. Ballard struck a good shot on goal that Curran was able to stop in the 61st minute. Just a moment later Dull tried to find the back of the net for the second time, but her shot sailed just wide of goal.
Dull put a good shot on goal in the 64th minute that forced Curran to make a tough save, which led to Paige Herr (Lancaster, Pa.) hammering home the rebound for the decisive tally. This was a lead that the Bobcats would not relinquish as they held firm and collected the 2-1 victory.
"We played well enough to get it done," said Macmillan. "This time of the season you've got to win and just keep moving forward. We'll look at the film, make some changes, come in tomorrow and play a lot better."
The Bobcats will play in the championship game Saturday at one p.m. The winner of today's 2:30 p.m. match between Kent State and Miami will face Ohio in the final.