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WSOC Evens Record After 3-0 Win over Ohio U.
WSOC Evens Record After 3-0 Win over Ohio U.
Christopher Rieman
Published by Chris R
09-16-2017
Smile WSOC Evens Record After 3-0 Win over Ohio U.

Alexis Kiehl notched a goal and assist as Dayton scored on three of its four shots on goal to defeat Ohio University 3-0 on Friday evening at Baujan Field. Sara Robertson and Micayla Livingston also found the back of the net to improve the Flyers' record to 4-4-0. The Bobcats fall to 3-5-0.

The first 20 minutes of the match were excessively lethargic as both teams had trouble finding RPMs in their respective engines to create pace and become dangerous. The methodical, oftentimes sleepwalking pace probably served to Ohio's advantage considering they were the road team looking to steal a match away from home. The Flyers didn't make things all that difficult for them either.

Each side took their time with passes and build-up, struggling to generate any one- and two-touch soccer that caught defenders out of position to open up the field. The lack of spatial awareness on the field also strait-jacketed the run of play by both teams. When balls were played to feet, four and five touches were often required to create the next pass, dribble-drive, or jibe away from an approaching defender. Still, UD and Ohio managed to do just enough to send some balls into the goal boxes for a possible first score of the match. UD's best early chance came on Alexis Kiehl's perpendicular dribble-drive across the OU goal mouth for a wide open look at the net, but her shot sailed high. For Kiehl's standards it should have put the Flyers up 1-0.

Ohio would eventually out-shoot UD 9-5 in the opening 45 minutes, helped in part by taking advantage of the Flyer defense pinching in too narrow along the right side. Diagonal balls to unmarked Bobcat wing players allowed the visitors to create enough space to knock open crosses in the box. Unfortunately for Ohio, their forwards lacked basic skills to turn a half-chance into something better, while UD stiffened up in the box and turned away all the loose change.

On the other end, UD couldn't generate sustained possession in the midfield to switch the run of play to the far side and stretch the Bobcat defense. Dayton's best scoring chances came on sending crosses in the box, which eventually led to the first goal of the match in the 25th minute when Sara Robertson one-timed a right-sided cross from Alexis Kiehl that beat Bobcat GK Erin Beurket for the first goal of the match. It felt good to be up 1-0 despite not playing well.

With 20 minutes remaining in the half, Robertson's goal didn't necessarily kickstart the Flyers however. Ohio bounced back and eventually spent 12-14 minutes putting repeated pressure on the Flyer back line. Unable to escape their defensive third for prolonged stretches, OU kept knocking on the door for a game-tying equalizer. Fortunately that never happened as UD withstood the pressure and managed to get to intermission nursing the 1-0 lead.

The second half was a fresh start for both teams and it seemed like more goals were likely based on the lethargic run of play in the first 45 minutes. The first team to turn up the juice would probably run away with things because the match was begging for a blowout in either direction.

Dayton successfully answered that challenge as the final 45 minutes were more or less dominated by the Flyers. Despite second half shots ending up just 5-3 in favor of UD (the Bobcats made just one save after intermission), the run of play was where things changed in favor of Head Coach Eric Golz' squad. Quicker to the ball, tougher on loose-ball challenges, and more willing to make off-the-ball runs into open space, the Flyers managed to spread Ohio's defense wider and thinner. Larger gaps were created and UD served balls into those areas to threaten the Bobcat goal box.

Jordan Pauley fed Micayla Livingston in the 54th minute for a terrific shot to the lower far left post from 16 yards that beat the goalkeeper and caromed in to give Dayton a 2-0 lead early in the second half. From there, Ohio seemed to lose their confidence that a result was still in the cards, while UD sensed a wounded animal and went for the kill.

Dayton continued to plug away for more possession and scoring opportunities over the next 20 minutes and while they never created many shots on goal, they continued to play better soccer as the match wore on. The Bobcats started chasing the ball for long stretches and losing important 50/50 challenges about 35 yards from their own goal. When the Flyers regained the ball, they looked to the touch lines for Livingston, Madeleine Morrissey, and Caroline Mink to twist a defender and open up space for a purposeful cross or goal-mouth challenge.

Dayton finished up the scoring in the 74th minute when the Kiehl sisters teamed up to make it 3-0. Kaitlynn hit the post on a rocket from outside the goal box, while sister Alexis cleaned up the rebound with an easy poke at the 6 yard line.

With the match decided, mass substitutions overtook both squads over the the remaining 15 minutes. Ohio never truly threatened to score in the second half as GK Kaelyn Johns cleaned up all the high-ball crosses while her back line contained the loose stuff on the ground. Beth Kampaus did particularly well in the central defense stepping up for pickoffs that prevented the Bobcats from receiving and dishing to overlapping players.

Overall shots on goal were 4-4, while Ohio held the edge in corner kicks 4-3. The boxscore suggests there wasn't much offense -- or much of anything really -- to get excited about. For the first 45 minutes that's probably true. Dayton played much better after halftime however and by match end were clearly the better squad -- despite being outshot 12-10 overall. The team remains a sizeable work-in-progress and there are limitations on the pitch unlikely to evaporate by the end of the season. Still, earning results against winnable opponents is better than the alternative and its much easier to teach after a victory than a painful defeat.

Dayton travels to Xavier on Sunday evening for a back-yard brawl in Cincinnati. Kickoff is 630pm.
__________________

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

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