A game-winning goal from senior midfielder Chelsie Oddan in the 82nd minute propelled the Eastern Michigan University soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Ohio University at Scicluna Field, Sunday.
Sunday was also Senior Day for the Eagles (9-5-1, 5-3-0 Mid-American Conference). All eight of the team’s seniors started the game.
“It was great for them to get their Senior Day win,” Eastern coach Scott Hall said. “We started all eight seniors and I thought our play didn’t suffer. Everyone played well. That’s what we’ve got – great soccer players.”
Oddan’s game-winner was only her second goal of the season and the second of her Eastern career. She missed significant time with two ACL injuries over the last four years.
“I think there’s no better feeling than getting a goal to finish off the game,” Oddan said.
Senior forward Bianca Rossi – who scored the first goal of the game in the 10th minute for the Eagles – praised the midfielder.
“Odie’s goal was unbelieveable,” Rossi said. “It was perfect placement, it was the perfect shot – especially with less than 10 minutes left, it was what we needed. It was an amazing goal.”
Oddan had good things to say about the forward, as well.
“You give her any ball and she can do anything with it,” Oddan said.
Jenna O’Dell (1-1) started her final regular-season home game for the Eagles, earning her first win of the season stopping five of the six shots on goal she faced.
“It was exciting to be back on the field,” O’Dell said. “It’s been a while. Goals happen, it’s unfortunate, but I think we responded pretty well in the second half coming back with Odie’s goal to win the game.”
Hall said the depth at goalie has been good for the Eagles – with junior Megan McCabe getting the majority of the playing time this season.
“Like I’ve said all year – we have two really good goalkeepers,” he said. “It’s hard when you’ve got two good goalkeepers and Megan McCabe’s been playing really really well … when push comes to shove you have another goalkeeper [O’Dell] you can put in [that] you’re confident with and the players are confident with – we’re pretty spoiled, I have to say.”
The goalkeeper’s efforts were also recognized by her team.
“Jenna played an amazing game,” Rossi said. “She kept us in the game from the very beginning. She had three or four really good saves that kept us fighting, kept us going as a team. She played an amazing game.”
Rachel Fryan started in goal for Ohio (6-10-0, 3-5-0 MAC), making three saves on five shots.
Alexis Milesky scored the lone goal unassisted for the Bobcats in the 23rd minute.
The Eagles wrap up the regular season with three consecutive games on the road. First up is a matchup against Northern Illinois University.
The Huskies are 5-8-2 – led by freshman midfielder/forward Lauren Gierman’s three goals and two assists, as well as goalkeeper Amy Annala’s 1.59 goals against average in 13 starts.
Hall said his team played well at home this season – with a 6-1 record. The obstacle, he said, would be to play well away from Scicluna – where the team is 3-3-1.
“Now we go on the road for three games,” Hall said. “We did a pretty good job of taking care of our home games – besides Friday. If you want to win the [MAC] West, you’ve got to win some games on the road.”
He said he is confident in his team and expects them to be firing on all cylinders down the stretch.
“I think we’re built, we’re healthy – so if we can take those things into it, we’ve got as good a shot as anybody to fight our way through it,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy – as the MAC never is. That’s why I have no hair on my head.”
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho