The Eastern Michigan University women’s soccer team hosted the University of Miami-Ohio Redhawks in a Mid-American Conference match-up on Sunday, in which the Eagles fell 1-0 to a set-piece goal in the team’s second game at Scicluna Field.
Going into the match, the Eagles had been a perfect 2-0 at home, and forward Kristin Nason had scored a goal in every appearance in Ypsilanti dating back to a preseason match against Oakland University in August. Both of which were ended on Sunday with the one goal loss.
Eastern Michigan (3-6-1; 0-2-0 MAC) held the early advantage in the match, controlling possession of the ball, but it was Miami (6-3-0; 2-0-0 MAC) who took advantage of opportunities earned to take the three points back to Ohio with them.
Most of the first half was played between the 18-yard boxes, as both teams battled for possession in the midfield, with each team seldom having chances in its attacking third within the first 20 minutes of the game.
The Eagles best run of offensive play came between the 25th and 32nd minutes, where the Eagles earned multiple corner-kick chances, and also a few chances in on goal. Senior Megan Trapp had a good look on goal when she let go a shot from just outside of the goal box that couldn’t be controlled by Miami goalkeeper Vic Maniaci. Junior Madison Hirsch was there to collect the rebound, but the shot was stopped by Maniaci in recovery.
Nason came inches away from extended her home-field scoring streak, when a corner to the near post found the top of the forward’s head, but went off of the crossbar and into the feet of Miami defenders, who promptly cleared the ball off of the line.
Minutes later, sophomore Jennifer Bentley took a corner-kick from the flag, and nearly curled the ball into the back of the net from the initial kick, but that attempt on net was also thwarted by the Miami crossbar.
As time winded down in the first half, Miami made its way towards the Eagles attacking third, earning a corner with 25 seconds left before halftime. Quickly taking the corner was Miami’s Jess Bronke who put the cross in play and connected with the head of Katie Alexander, who put the ball past freshman goalkeeper Kaylin Williams, who would take her second loss of the season. The goal was scored with three seconds left to play in the half.
The next 45 minutes saw neither the Eagles nor the Redhawks be able to get in on goal or earn a clear threat on net, and the gamed finished a 1-nil after an uneventful second half.
Eagles coach Scott Hall wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort in the second half, but has plenty of faith in his youthful squad so rebound from two consecutive MAC defeats.
“We just couldn’t get it together in the mid-field, I feel like we had quality chances in the first half, but after they [Miami] scored their first goal we just kind of fell flat.
“We didn’t have any composure and you just can’t win like that,” Hall said. “But we have a stretch of six home games and we need to take three points from each of those games and steal one or two games on the road. It’s tough work from here on, but the team is up for the challenge and we’ll make it work.”
The Eagles will continue their MAC hopes on Friday, Oct. 2 in Ypsilanti when the University of Buffalo (5-4-1; 1-1 MAC) will take the pitch at Scicluna Field, where kick-off is set for 4 p.m. Eastern Michigan were defeated 2-0 last season by Buffalo.