ATHENS, Ohio -Andrea Biegalski's second goal of the season proved to be the difference as Ohio Field Hockey closed the regular season with a 1-0 victory over Central Michigan. The Bobcats are the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MAC Field Hockey Tournament this week in Athens.
The Bobcats matched the best MAC mark in program history with a 9-1 finish. Ohio has finished with a lone blemish in league play on five occasions, the last being in 2007. That season, the 'Cats advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Ohio's first chance came in the fifth minute as Taylor Brown went wide of goal. Two minutes later, it was Marissa Higgins with a shot that was saved by CMU goalkeeper Anastasia Netto. Brown had two more shots and Brooke Edwards missed wide in the following minutes as the game remained scoreless.
Neither team recorded a shot for the next 14 minutes until Laura Mastro missed wide and Brown was denied again 20 seconds later. One minute after that sequence, Cathryn Altdoerffer registered her first shot off a penalty corner.
Despite some good looks for the Bobcats, the score remained 0-0 at intermission. Ohio held an 8-2 edge in shots and a 4-1 advantage in penalty corners.
CMU had the first two scoring chances in the second half before Brown missed wide, eight minutes into the stanza. Altdoerffer was denied by Netto in the 51st minute and Katherine Fenzel had a try blocked in the 53rd.
With 10 minutes remaining, the Bobcat pressure found another gear. Altdoerffer went wide one more time before Jenna Green had a chance denied by Netto. Off a corner, Altdoerffer had a try saved and the rebound came to Biegalski, who scored the deciding goal at 62:14.
After the goal, Ohio went into a defensive shell and weathered four penalty corners in the final four minutes of regulation. Goalkeeper Jen McGill made two big saves to preserve the win. The senior made five saves in the contest to earn her ninth shutout, sixth in MAC play.
Ohio finished with a 15-8 edge in shots but allowed 10 penalty corners to the Chippewas. CMU entered the game ranking right behind Ohio in the MAC in every offensive category, including an average of 2.56 goals per contest.
Ohio will play the winner of Thursday's first round contest between Ball State and Miami. The Bobcats begin their quest in the MAC Semifinals on Friday at noon.