Sept. 20, 2008
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
It was a tale of two halves for the Ohio field hockey team, as they started strong against No. 1 Wake Forest, but fell 4-0 to the top-ranked team in the country Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, Va. The Bobcats (2-4) only trailed by one at the half, but the Demon Deacons (7-0) opened up the match with a trio of goals in a seven-minute stretch.
"I don't think the score is completely indicative of how the game was played," Ohio head coach Neil Macmillan said. "The second half we didn't generate enough attack, but the way we played them the first half and taking out a seven-minute spell, it was close match."
Ohio jumped out to a fast start, earning the first two penalty corners and firing the first two shots of the game. Wake Forest senior keeper Crystal Duffield denied the Bobcat opportunities, and junior Melissa Martin broke the scoreless tie in the 19th minute, as she lifted the ball into the top right corner of the cage to give the Deacons a 1-0 lead. Senior Minou Gimbrere earned the assist.
The score would hold at 1-0 for the remainder of the first half, despite Ohio outshooting Wake Forest 4-3 in the opening frame and gaining the edge in penalty corners 5-3.
"The whole first half was a very competitive, good game of hockey," Macmillan said. "I thought our organization was excellent. We told the team during the week that we had to be that way if we wanted to compete and we were. Defensively we ran some things that took them out of what they were trying to do. I was extremely proud of that."
The second half would not be as friendly to the Bobcats, as Wake Forest shut down the Ohio attack, while scoring a flurry of goals in under seven minutes. Junior Hilary Moore opened the three-goal spurt in the 43rd minute, as Gimbrere earned her second assist of the game. Junior Kim Romansky gave the Demon Deacons a 3-0 lead just two minutes later, off an assist from Moore. Moore, who finished with five points, tacked on another goal in the 49th minute, giving her two for the game and a team-best seven on the year. Senior Michelle Kasold had the assist on the final goal.
"We missed a couple of assignments," Macmillan said of the seven-minute stretch, "but after that we were back to where we needed to be. In the second half they shut us down offensively."
Ohio could not get off a shot in the second stanza, as Wake Forest outshot the `Cats 9-0 and earned five penalty corners, while Ohio had none. The Deacons would not score again after Ohio righted the ship, but still nabbed the 4-0 victory.
Junior Marcy Dull (Ephrata, Pa.) led Ohio with a pair of shots, giving her 13 on the season, which is tied for the team lead. Ohio's other two shots, both of which were on goal, came from senior Rachelle Coetzee (Bloemfontein, S.A.) and junior Taylor Anderson (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Top-ranked Wake Forest was paced by Martin, Romansky, and senior Liz Fries, each of whom fired three shots, while all of Martin's and Romansky's shots ended on goal.
Senior goalie Jessie Martin (Louisville, Ky.) made six saves in net for Ohio, giving her 45 on the season. Duffield had both saves for the Deacons.
Wake Forest outshot Ohio 12-4 in the game, while also holding an 8-5 advantage in penalty corners.
The Bobcats are now 1-4-1 all-time versus Wake Forest and have faced three ranked opponents on the season, with a fourth coming tomorrow. Ohio has little time to rest, as they return to action Sunday, Sept. 21 against host and No. 8 Virginia at 1 p.m. Live stats will be available on ohiobobcats.com.
"We need to put in a game plan and see if we can execute," Macmillan said. "We need to change a few things up after today. We really just concentrated on what we needed to do today. We played the best team in the country today and we hung with them for a long period of time. No shame in that."