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WSOC: UD Battles to 1-1 2OT Draw with IUPUI
WSOC: UD Battles to 1-1 2OT Draw with IUPUI
Christopher Rieman
Published by Chris R
Smile WSOC: UD Battles to 1-1 2OT Draw with IUPUI

The Dayton Flyers women's soccer team gift-wrapped a first half goal but tied it up in the second half to force extra time and salvage a 1-1 2OT draw with IUPUI on Sunday afternoon at Baujan Field. In a match largely dominated by the Flyers, missed scoring chances inside the box ended up being the difference. With the tie, UD now stands at 3-1-2 while the Jaguars leave town at 1-3-1.

The Flyers got off to a better start than the last couple of matches at Toledo and Kentucky, showing greater pace and a sense of urgency as the game got underway. Pushing forward with more purposeful and dangerous runs, the offensive players were rewarded with solid distribution down the touch lines to force the Jaguars to chase. The north-south run of play had been largely absent in the last 10 days but its re-emergence served Dayton well with better possession and more time to play to feet.

Dayton had a couple great early chances to score, including a shot that deflected off the post. Numerous balls in the box turned into excellent scoring opportunities, but the finishing inside 18 yards proved ineffective. That said, the overall effort and hustle stats favored the Flyers and as the match continued it felt like UD had their hands on the steering wheel.

A poor giveaway out of the back in the 31st minute however threw cold water on the otherwise solid play as GK Madelyn Dewey chose a short ball to her covered defender at the top of the box that was the wrong pass at the wrong time. UD was subsequently dispossessed and the free strike at the goal put the Jaguars on top 1-0. Like many matches in the last two seasons, it was an unforced error that cost the Flyers on the scoreboard and gave the opponent some unearned charity.

The last 12 minutes of the first half were sloppier on both sides. IUPUI was most dangerous when counter-attacking with numbers while UD had better luck building up from the back line and connecting passes moving forward. The Jags did better toward the end of the half to win more 50/50 challenges and make the play more competitive.

First half stats favored UD in shots 10-6 and corner kicks 3-2.

The Flyers came out of halftime with perhaps their best 45 minutes of the season -- at least in terms of effort, physicality, and hustle. Leading that charge was midfielder Diana Benigno, the pint-sized central attacker that made it her own personal mission to dig out every ball within sniffing distance. What she surrendered in pounds and inches she made up for with bulldog tenacity and grit and as the second half continued, her teammates fed off her high work rate and began challenging harder too. UD was dominating and much of the play remained in the IUPUI defensive half of the field as the Flyers found seams along the touch lines and sent players to the corner flags for crosses or cut-ins toward the box.

Dayton manufactured several great scoring chances inside the box but finishing remained problematic with several prime opportunities to tie the match squandered despite open redirect opportunities in front of the IUPUI goal mouth.

The persistence finally paid off in the 53rd minute when Benigno chipped a ball behind the Jag back line that Noel Blain redirected past the goalkeeper to tie the match at 1-1.

From there, Dayton completely dominated and were it not for poor finishing, the Flyers would have scored two or three more goals to make things academic in the final 10 minutes. More crosses, shots, and near-goals but nothing that found the net as IUPUI hung in there and did just enough to give themselves a chance to steal the match in regulation. They nearly did just that in the final minutes but Dewey's tip-save over the crossbar kept the score at 1-1.

Second half stats were all Dayton with shots 15-8 and a 2-1 edge in corners.

The first and second golden-goal overtime periods played out much like the last half hour of regulation -- mostly dominated by UD and mostly contained in the IUPUI defensive half of the pitch. More great scoring opportunities came and went however and by the latter stages of the second OT, a few fans wondered if the Jags were going to steal the match with another cheap goal before time expired. That never happened and UD never cashed in either after 110:00 of play. It was a frustrating result considering the Flyers were the better team all afternoon and all but handed IUPUI their lone score of the match. Adding to the aggravation was UD's 31 total shots including 14 on goal but just one score to show for it.

Benigno had perhaps her best performance as a Flyer, ruthlessly digging out loose change all over the pitch and playing much bigger than her size. Head Coach Eric Golz needed every bit of it too with Itala Gemelli and Jess Sheldon unavailable. Alexa Holl provided a big lift off the bench with strong play at left striker as she managed to dribble baseline and send dangerous balls into the box. Marlee Taylor registered 11 total shots and 5 on frame but could not beat the Jag goalkeeper. Defensively, UD was organized for most of the match and were otherwise on top of things with the exception of the first half concession.

The upside is UD played much better than prior matches at Toledo and Kentucky. Dayton was inept in all phases against the Rockets while the effort alone was much better vs. the Wildcats. UD put both physicality and run-of-play execution together for extended stretches on Sunday. The only thing missing was terminating those great scoring chances. The downside is its the third match in a row UD has squandered an excellent shot at victory.

UD will have to score on every solid opportunity on Thursday night as the Ohio State Buckeyes visit Baujan Field. The Bucks recently topped #18 UCF and Navy and will be Dayton's stiffest test to date.

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

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