ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio field hockey team (1-5, 0-0 MAC) is set to continue the home portion of the 2017 season at home this weekend when the Bobcats compete with MAC-rival Miami (2-4, 0-0 MAC) on Friday and close out the weekend with an in-state rivalry game against Ohio State (3-2, 0-0 B10) on Sunday.
Ohio will battle the Redhawks on Friday (Sept. 15) at 3 p.m. ET at Pruitt Field. The Bobcats and the Buckeyes will close out the weekend competition on Sunday (Sept. 17) at 1 p.m. in Athens, Ohio.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats went 0-2 during the third weekend of the 2017 season, dropping the series with VCU. Ohio suffered a 3-1 loss to the Rams on Saturday (Sept. 9), followed by a hard fought 2-1 loss to VCU on Sunday (Sept. 10).
Alex Pennington (Easton, Pa.) finished the weekend with 10 saves. The junior recorded six saves in the match with the Rams, facing 9 shots on the day. In game two of the series, Pennington added four saves on six shots faced.
The Bobcats would record four shots on game one while VCU tallied 13 as well as seven penalty corners compared to Ohio's 1. The Rams would win the shot battle in game two 11-3, as well as the corner battle 13-2. Ballard would score Ohio's only goals on the weekend, one of which was earned on a penalty stroke. T
MACMILLAN RETURNS FOR 13TH SEASON
Neil Macmillan is at the helm for his 13th season at Ohio. The Portsmouth, England, native sports an all-time record of 125-116 and has led the Bobcats to four MAC titles, 2006, '07, '09 and '11, during his tenure. He is the longest-tenured head coach in Mid-American Conference field hockey and notched his name in the record books as the all-time winningest coach in Ohio field hockey history last season.
The Bobcats return junior Kendall Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.), who earned First Team All-Mid-American Conference and Second Team All-Region honors while she also earned a spot on the U.S. U-21 National Team with USA Field Hockey. She led the Bobcats with a career-high 12 goals, 28 points, 55 shots and 31 shots on goal. Ballard also finished tied for second on the squad in assists (4), which was also a career-high. Ballard finished in the top-10 in the Mid-American Conference in shots (9th), points (5th), goals (5th) and assists (10th) during the 2016 season.
Senior Maria Russell (Hudson, Ohio) also returns to the Bobcat lineup for 2017. She received Second Team All-MAC recognition following the 2016 season. Russell finished in a tie for second on Ohio with six goals and was second on the squad in shots on goal with 15. Russell also ranked third on the team in shots (21) and points (14) while adding two assists to bring her career total to three. Russell now has 20 career goals to start her senior season.
Ohio's 2016 roster features six new players,-- Claire Buckey(Powell, Ohio), Peyton Taylor (Catonsville, Md.), Emma Spinnetto(Louisville, Ky.), Samara Schratz (McMurray, Pa.), Annmarie Hoppel (Fredricksburg, Va.) and Leah Warren(Hamilton, New Zeland).
BOBCATS PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH IN MAC PRESEASON POLL
The Ohio field hockey team has been picked to place fourth in the league standings in the 2017 Mid-American Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches, the league office announced.
The Bobcats received 19 points to tie with Ball State to finish fourth in the poll.
Defending league champion Kent State was picked to win the MAC by way of 41 points – including six first-place votes. The Golden Flashes were also picked to win the conference's tournament championship. Miami garnered 35 points to place second in the poll and also received one first-place vote. Longwood would fall in the third spot with 25 points.
Appalachian State and Central Michigan each tied for sixth place with four points each to round out the poll.
MIAMI SCOUTING REPORT
The Redhawls are currently 2-4 and are coming off of a 0-2 week. Miami currently leads the all-time series with Ohio 39-34. The last time the two squads faced, Ohio suffered a 6-0 loss to the Redhawks on Oct. 29 last season to close out the regular season and MAC-play. Miami benefited from Paula Portugal, Geagy Pritchard, and Carla Romagosa scoring a pair of goals each. The Redhawks tallied 21 shots on the game. Pennington recorded seven saves on 13 shots on goal. Miami has suffered losses to UMass-Lowell, Boston, Ohio State and Indiana.
OHIO STATE SCOUTING REPORT
Ohio State currently leads the series with Ohio 26-10-3. The last time the Bobcats and the Buckeyes battled, Ohio State took a 3-0 victory. Esther Clotet Alisna and Maddie Humphrey would score for the Buckeyes with two coming from Humphrey. Ohio State would win the shot battle 19-5 and the corner battle 7-1.
After the weekend, Ohio will return to the road for the conference portion of the 2017 schedule. The Bobcats are set to travel to Appalachian St. on Friday (Sept. 22) at 6 p.m. followed by competition with Davidson on Sunday (Sept. 24) at 12 p.m.