Oct. 2, 2008
ATHENS, Ohio -
Week 6 Game Notes
Gametracker: Ohio at Miami (Sunday, 1 p.m.)
The Ohio field hockey team enters the weekend after starting Mid-American Conference play 2-0 for a fourth-straight year, including winning at Kent State for the first time during the regular season since 2001. The Bobcats (4-5, 2-0 MAC) will travel to Muncie, Ind. Saturday for a tilt with the Ball State Cardinals (1-8, 0-1 MAC) before moving on to Oxford, Ohio for a Sunday showdown with rival Miami (7-2, 2-0 MAC), in a battle of first-place teams. Both games are set to start at 1 p.m. ET.
"We need to just come out to practice and play hard everyday," senior captain Jessie Martin said of how the team will keep its momentum rolling. "Spirits are high, especially after last weekend and the Kent State game. (Head coach) Neil (Macmillan) said it was a total team effort last weekend and it really was. I was just really proud of everybody. It was the first time I felt like I didn't have to do a lot, which is a good feeling. The defense played really well."
The Bobcats opened MAC play by knocking off Central Michigan, 4-3, and defeating Kent State, 1-0, last weekend. Martin (Louisville, Ky.), the 2007 MAC Player of the Year, is averaging 1.96 goals against and has 64 saves in goal this year for the `Cats.
Two-time All-MAC performer Rachelle Coetzee (Bloemfontein, S.A.) leads Ohio with 10 points, on four goals and two assists. The four goals are a team best, while her sister, Estienne Coetzee (Bloemfontein, S.A.), is second on the team with three goals. Seniors Nikki Gnozzio (Flanders, N.J.) and Lauren Stahlhuth (St. Louis, Mo.) are tied for the team lead with three assists. Rachelle also leads Ohio with 22 shots, while junior Marcy Dull (Ephrata, Pa.) is second on the team with 18 shots, but has a team-high 10 shots on goal.
Ball State is riding a seven-game losing streak, including dropping their MAC opener to Missouri State in overtime last weekend. The Cardinals' lone win was a 2-0 defeat of Davidson. Ball State and Ohio share two common opponents in Ohio State and Indiana. BSU lost those games by a combined 7-0, while Ohio fell to OSU in double overtime, but defeated Indiana in extra time.
Freshman Brittany Hammer leads the Cardinals with five goals and 13 points. Her three assists are tied for the team lead with junior Brooke MacGillivary. Senior Jodi Mann is tied with a team-best 16 shots and also has four defensive saves. Junior goalie Tiffany Shifflett has started all nine games for the Cardinals and has a 3.88 goals against average and a 62.8 save percentage.
The Bobcats are just 24-33 all-time against Ball State, but have won 18 of the last 19 meetings dating back to 2001.
Miami enters the weekend on a two-game winning streak and is the only undefeated team in MAC play besides Ohio. The RedHawks' losses have come at the hands of Northwestern and Michigan State. Miami packs a powerful offense that averages 3.56 goals a game, ranking seventh nationally, and has scored five or more goals in a game four times this year. The RedHawks also average 9.56 penalty corners per game, good enough for third in the nation.
Senior Elizabeth Gilroy has a team-high five goals, but six RedHawks have at least three goals on the season. Senior Teja Kammler leads the team with four assists. Freshman goalie Abbey Huck has seen the majority of time in goal, starting in seven games and playing in all nine, but Miami has used three keepers this year. Huck has three shutouts, a 2.24 goals against average and a 73.8 save percentage on the year.
The Bobcats also trail Miami in the all-time series, 21-28, but have won five straight against the RedHawks, including last year's meeting in the MAC Championship game.
"One of our season goals is to go undefeated in MAC play," Martin said. "Most teams would look at that goal as going 10-0, but we look at it as going 1-0 10 times."
Fans can follow Sunday's action with Miami live via Gametracker, by clicking here.
A Family Affair: Sunday's match-up with Miami features a pair of sisters facing off against each other. Ohio senior Lauren Stahlhuth (St. Louis, Mo.) has started all nine games this year, while her sister, KC, is a sophomore back for Miami. Lauren has three assists on the year, while KC has seen action in three games for the RedHawks.
Owning the MAC-millan: With Ohio's 1-0 win over Kent State Sept. 28, head coach Neil Macmillan has guided the Bobcats to a 2-0 start in MAC play during all four years of his tenure. The win also gave Macmillan a win over every MAC team at home and on the road.
A Week to Remember: Senior Nikki Gnozzio (Flanders, N.J.) capped a stellar week by being named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in her career. She was also honored for her efforts by being named to the Womensfieldhockey.com Honor Roll. Gnozzio scored the game-winning goal at Kent State Sept. 28 and earned an assist on Ohio's game-winning goal against Central Michigan Sept. 26. Gnozzio has two game-winning goals on the season, which is tied for second in the MAC.
High School Hook-ups: A few Bobcats will be playing against former high school teammates in Sunday's game at Miami. Freshman Jenna Green (Wescosville, Pa.) will go against fellow Emmaus High grad and Miami freshman goalie Abbey Huck, while freshman Jen McGill (Louisville, Ky.) will see Miami's Katie and Christine Brightwell, all three of whom attended Assumption High School together in Louisville.
First Time for Everything: In Ohio's 4-3 Sept. 26 win over Central Michigan, sophomore Brittany Zorn (Millersville, Md.) scored her first-career goal, while freshman Jenna Green (Wescosville, Pa.) earned her first-ever assist.
One-goal Wonders: Seven of Ohio's first nine games have been decided by one goal, with the Bobcats earning all four of their victories by the slimmest of margins. Ohio was 8-5 in one-goal games a year ago. The Bobcats have played three overtime games so far in 2008, with two going into double overtime. Ohio is 1-2 in those contests and went 4-3 in overtime games in 2007.
For complete weekly notes, please click the link at the top.