Toledo heads into the stretch run of its Mid-American Conference schedule this weekend with a pair of huge road matches. UT travels to eighth-place Ohio (7-7-1, 2-4-1 MAC) on Friday, Oct. 19 and third-place Kent State (10-3-2, 5-2-1 MAC) on Sunday, Oct. 21. Kickoff is slated for 3:00 p.m. at Chessa Field on Friday and 1:00 p.m. at Zoeller Field on Sunday, respectively.
The two-time reigning MAC regular-season champion Rockets currently stand at 6-9-1 overall, 4-3-1 in the league. The Midnight Blue and Gold looks to stay in the race for a home match in the upcoming league tournament and sits sixth in the conference with 13 points. Toledo trails Miami (24 pts.), Central Michigan (21 pts.), KSU (16 pts.), Eastern Michigan (15 pts.) and Ball State (14 pts.) with only three regular-season contests remaining.
The top four squads in the final regular-season standings regardless of division will host teams five through eight in the quarterfinal round on Sunday, Oct. 28 at campus sites. Teams earn three points for a win and one point for a tie. Toledo has hosted a first-round MAC Tournament contest on four occasions over the last five years.
UT split a pair of home matches last weekend, claiming a 2-1 overtime victory vs. Ball State on Friday and suffering a 1-0 setback against the RedHawks two days later. Senior Natalia Gaitan provided the match-winning goal vs. the Cardinals, converting a penalty kick with 17 seconds remaining in the first overtime session.
The 2012 MAC preseason favorite Rockets are paced by junior Rachel MacLeod, who has a team-high eight points on the season (three goals, two assists). MacLeod is supported offensively by Gaitan (six pts., three goals), senior Megan Blake (five pts., two goals with one assist), freshman Angelica Hernandez (four pts., two goals) and sophomore Kirsten Catloth (four pts., one goal with two assists).
As a team, UT is sixth in the MAC in corner kicks (67), eighth in goals scored (16), ninth in total points (43) and assists (11) and 11th in shots (167).
On defense, the four-time league tourney champion Rockets have tinkered with their lineup a little as of late and it has been beneficial. Toledo has allowed one goal or less on six occasions during MAC play, yielding 0.96 goals-against average during this stretch. Senior Jaimie Morsillo, senior Rachael Kravitz, sophomore Brooke Lawler, Blake, Gaitan and Catloth comprise the defensive front and are connecting well together.
Between the posts, sophomore Kelsey Borowitz (4-7-1 record) has a 1.37 GAA, while making 40 saves with three shutouts. Borowitz is tied for ninth in the conference in blankings and saves and 10th in GAA.
As a unit, UT is tied for third in the MAC in shutouts (5), sixth in saves (59), eighth in GAA and tied for eighth in goals allowed (20).
Ohio comes off a weekend in which it sustained a 2-1 setback at Eastern Michigan and had its contest against Western Michigan cancelled due to inclement weather. The Bobcats held a 1-0 lead vs. the Broncos in the second half, before the match was delayed for lightning and eventually canceled when the field was deemed unplayable. They are led offensively by Cat Rogers (five goals with four assists) and Holly Harris (four goals with two assists) with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Rogers is currently tied for third in the MAC in match-winning goals (3), tied for fifth in shots (45) and tied for 10th in goals and assists. In goal, Mattie Liston has played all but 135 minutes and ranks first in the MAC in save percentage (.828), second in saves (77), tied for third in shutouts (5) and eighth in GAA (1.17). As a team, Ohio is first in the MAC in saves, tied for third in shutouts (5), fifth in assists (18), tied for sixth in total points (48) and goals allowed (17), seventh in GAA (1.12), tied for seventh in shots (196), ninth in goals scored (15) and 10th in corner kicks (56). Toledo leads the all-time series with the Bobcats, 10-8-0, and has won nine of the last 10 matchups between the cross-division rivals. Last fall, Toledo registered a 2-0 triumph during the regular season and an 8-0 victory in the opening round of the MAC Tournament, both at Scott Park.
Kent State, which hosts Northern Illinois on Friday before entertaining Toledo two days later, defeated Western Michigan, 1-0 in OT, and Eastern Michigan, 3-0, at home last weekend. Jaclyn Dutton (14 goals with four assists) and Stephanie Haugh (five goals with nine assists) pace the Golden Flashes with 32 and 19 points, respectively. Dutton leads the MAC in goals and total points and also ranks tied for third in match-winning goals (3) and fourth in shots (46), while Haugh is second in helpers and tied for 10th in total points. In goal, Stephanie Senn has played all but 56 minutes and sits third in the conference in GAA (0.91), fourth in save percentage (.793), tied for sixth in shutouts (4) and seventh in saves (46). As a team, KSU is tied for first in the MAC in goals allowed (14), second in goals scored (30), total points (91), corner kicks (87) and GAA (0.88), tied for second in assists (31), tied for third in shutouts (5), fourth in shots (209) and seventh in saves (56).The all-time series between Kent State and Toledo is tied, 8-8-1, but the Rockets have won the last five matchups. A season ago, Toledo tallied a pair of second-half goals en route to a 2-0 home triumph.