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MSOC: Buckeyes Top Flyers 1-0 in OT
MSOC: Buckeyes Top Flyers 1-0 in OT
Christopher Rieman
Published by Chris R
Exclamation MSOC: Buckeyes Top Flyers 1-0 in OT

The Dayton Flyers opened the 2019 home schedule on Friday evening as they hosted the Ohio State Buckeyes from the Big-10. The in-state rivalry was a competitive affair but the Bucks capitalized in extra time to escape with the 1-0 road victory. Dayton remains winless on the season at 0-3-0 (0-0-0) while OSU improves to 2-1-0 (0-0-0).

The pre-game anthem was preceding by a moment of silence for Andres Acevedo, a 2014 UD graduate and former UD men's soccer star that passed away unexpectedly last weekend at his home in Cincinnati. Gifted with energy and enthusiasm, perhaps Acevedo's spirit would carry the Flyers to their first win of the year.

The opening minutes of the first half were back-and-forth as neither team found much room to create sustained and meaningful possession going forward. Passing lanes were often clogged up and the match quickly turned into a defensive battle as the play continued.

Both offenses had some moments near the opposing goal boxes, but few quality chances materialized. Neither team could string more than 4-5 passes together without getting dispossessed or serving an errant ball that found the wrong jersey, but much of the sloppiness was a result of solid defensive pressure at the point of attack.

The Flyers had the best chance to score early in the match; an opportunity directly in front of the OSU goal box. The ball was cleared away however and the match remained scoreless. On the other end however, OSU took advantage of a forward push and eventually won a penalty kick midway through the first half. With an excellent chance to take the 1-0 advantage, UD goalkeeper Federico Barrios came up huge with an outstretched/diving save to the right post to deflect the ball away and deny the Buckeyes altogether.

The remaining 20 minutes of the first half however were much like the preceding 25 minutes. Offense was at a premium and most of the action was confined to free space between the goal boxes. Dayton's best moments came on the touch lines, unable to get much possession and distribution from the center circle. Long balls down the flanks created a few opportunities to put crosses in the box, but the Bucks were always there to clean up the mess and counter from the back.

Halftime remained deadlocked at 0-0. OSU outshot UD 7-5 while corner kicks were even at three a piece.

The second half started much like the first half ended as both teams did their best to find some open space to get creative and attack with purpose. Once again, defense reigned supreme however and although more shots and corner kicks would ultimately be taken in the final 45 minutes of regulation, quality chances by both teams remained few and far between. Barrios had another excellent save to deny one of Ohio State's few good looks but UD had trouble generating scoring chances on the other end as well. As the match continued, one goal appeared almost certainly to be enough to decide the match. It wasn't an especially exciting game to watch at times because the goal boxes were rarely penetrated with clever, well-executed soccer.

The Flyers would eventually out-shoot OSU 7-1 in the second half -- including a commanding 7-1 advantage in corner kicks -- but nothing found the back of the net and the final minutes of the second half ended with few fireworks.

It didn't take long into extra time for Ohio State to stick a fork in things as they converted on a corner kick redirect in the 92nd minute to earn the relatively ugly but satisfying 1-0 victory.

Despite out-shooting and out-cornering the Bucks, Dayton's offense remains a sputtering engine thus far. Ohio State actually outshot UD in shots on frame (5-4) and Head Coach Dennis Currier's team has found the net just three times in the last four matches (going back to the final preseason exhibition vs BGSU). Not only are the Flyers unable to score, quality scoring opportunities remain an exercise in futility at times. Senior Rok Taneski and junior Jonas Fjeldberg -- in their defense -- haven't had great service and the lack of quality distribution to their feet as they lurk in free space is an issue the staff will likely address moving forward. The midfield has also yet to flex their collective muscle -- either winning loose balls, shielding for possession, or delivering through-balls to forwards running into space. The staff needs their presence and an ability to exert their will against opponents. That's yet to happen.

Once again, the defense did just enough to give the offense a chance to earn a result. The Flyers don't have a huge margin for error however and must find a way to create more dynamic scoring opportunities over the course of 90 minutes. On a roster of nearly 30 players, perhaps one or two hot hands are sitting on the bench and waiting their turn.

Dayton remains at home for a Monday evening match against Northern Illinois. Kickoff is 5:30pm.

C. M. Rieman | Publisher | 937.361.4630 | Get the latest here:

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