ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio field hockey team (1-7, 0-1 MAC) is set to continue the 2017 season on the road this weekend when the Bobcats compete with MAC-newcomer Appalachian State (2-6, 0-2 MAC) on Friday and close out the weekend with a battle against Davidson (2-7, 0-0 A10) on Sunday.
Ohio will battle the Mountaineers on Friday (Sept. 22) at 6 p.m. ET. The Bobcats and Davidson will close out the weekend competition on Sunday (Sept. 24) at 12 p.m.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats went 0-2 during the fourth weekend of the 2017 season, dropping the first conference game of the season to Miami (Ohio) on Friday (Sept. 15) followed by a tough battle with Big-10 competition, Ohio State. Ohio suffered a 3-0 loss to the Redhawks on Friday (Sept. 15), followed by a hard-fought 3-0 loss to the Buckeyes on Sunday (Sept. 17).
Alex Pennington (Easton, Pa.) finished the weekend with seven saves. The junior recorded three saves in the match with the Redhawks, facing six shots on the day. In game two of the weekend, Pennington added four saves on seven shots faced.
The Bobcats would record five shots on the weekend. Miami would win the shot battle with14 shots on the game compared to Ohio's four on the day. Ohio State would win the shot battle as well with 14 shots on the game compared to two shots from Ohio.
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 125-120 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.
APPALACHIAN STATE SCOUTING REPORT
The Mountaineers are currently 2-6 and 0-2 in the MAC and are coming off of a 0-2 week. Ohio currently leads the all-time series with Appalachian State State 1-0. The last time the two squads faced, Ohio secured a 4-0 shutout over the Mountaineers in 2015. Ohio tallied 22 shots on the game, 16 on goal. Pennington would see some time in goal, but it was Lina Trucco who would record two saves on the game. Appalachian State has suffered losses to Georgetown, James Madison, Lafayette, North Carolina, Kent State and Miami. The Mountaineers recorded victories over La Salle and Davidson.
DAVIDSON SCOUTING REPORT
The Wildcats are currently 2-7 and have yet to begin conference play. Ohio currently leads the series with Davidson 5-4. The last time the Bobcats and the Wildcats battled, Ohio took a 1-0 victory. Davidson has suffered losses to Wake Forest, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Costal Carolina, NC State and Elon. The Wildcats have claimed victories over Gardner-Webb and Winthrop.
After the weekend, Ohio will return to the road to continue the conference portion of the 2017 schedule. The Bobcats are set to travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich. on Saturday (Sept. 30) at 1 p.m.