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ATHENS, Ohio -- A new era of Ohio field hockey is about to get underway this weekend. Ali Johnstone -- a former Bobcat standout and member of the Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame -- is set to begin her first season as head coach of the program.
Johnstone's first roster features a mix of talented veterans as well as several newcomers.
Senior midfielder Kendall Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.) is coming off a junior campaign in which she earned Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I West All-Region Second Team and All-Mid-American Conference First Team honors after leading the Bobcats in points (21), goals (8), game-winning goals (2), shots (45) and shots on goal (20) and tied for the team lead in assists (5). Senior forward Emma Eggleston (Houston, Texas) is also back after garnering All-MAC Second Team honors as a junior. She tied for the team lead and tied for seventh in the MAC with five assists. Other returners for Ohio in 2018 include junior forward Karynne Baker (Falls Church, Va.), redshirt junior goalkeeper Sophia Boothby (Spotsylvania, Va.), sophomore defender Claire Buckey (Powell, Ohio), junior defender Amy Edgerton (Louisville, Ky.), sophomore midfielder Annmarie Hoppel (Fredericksburg, Va.), junior forward Brittany Keen (Perth, Western Australia), senior goalkeeper Alex Pennington (Easton, Pa.), sophomore midfielder Emma Spinetto (Louisville, Ky.) and sophomore defender Lean Warren (Hamilton, New Zealand).
Ohio's 2018 roster features eight new faces to the program -- sophomore midfielder Maeve Gordon (West Milford, N.J.), sophomore midfielder Jillian Shive (Lebanon, Ohio), sophomore defender Alex Worallo (Kidderminster, England), redshirt freshman midfielder Tayla Hansen (Levin, New Zealand), freshman goalkeeper Nele Graner (Bonn, Germany), freshman midfielder Courtney Klein (Louisville, Ky.), freshman forward Sydney Super (Newark, Ohio) and freshman midfielder Ashley Wilbur (Louisville, Ky.).
Johnstone recently caught up with Logan Leduc and the OhioBobcatTV crew to preview the upcoming season.
Ohio begins its 15-match regular season slate this weekend with a pair of road contests on the East Coast. The Bobcats visit La Salle on Friday (Aug. 24) for a noon EST match, then travel to Monmouth for a Sunday (Aug. 26) noon showdown.