ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio field hockey team (0-2) is set to open its home campaign this weekend starting off with Saint Louis on Friday (Aug. 31) at 3 p.m. EST followed by the match up with Liberty on Sunday (Sept. 2) at 1 p.m. Both matches will be held on the Bobcats' Pruitt Field.
Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 | Ohio vs. Saint Louis | 3 p.m. EST | Pruitt Field | Athens, Ohio | Live Stats
Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 | Ohio vs. Liberty | 1 p.m. EST | Pruitt Field | Athens, Ohio | Live Stats
JOHNSTONE ERA BEGINS
The Ohio field hockey program began a new era last weekend as Ali Johnstone made her debut as head coach of the Bobcats.
Johnstone, a former Bobcat standout and member of the Kermit Blosser Ohio Athletics Hall of Fame, returns to Athens after spending the last six years on the coaching staff at Northwestern -- including the last four as the associate head coach.
BACK FOR THE BOBCATS
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.),redshirtt junior goalkeeper Sophia Boothby Spotsylvania, Va.), sophomore defender Claire Buckey Powell, Ohio), junior defender Amy Edgerton (Louisville, Ky.), sophomore midfielder Annmarie Hoppell (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).
BALLARD SPENDS SUMMER REPRESENTING OHIO, COUNTRY
In May, Ballard selected to compete for the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team's travel roster for a June trip to Argentina. Ballard was one of 17 current college players selected by U-21 USWNT Head Coach Phil Edwards to represent their country in Tucuman, Argentina from June 10-18 and compete in a three-game test series against the country's U-21 team.
July saw Ballard named to USA Field Hockey's U.S. Women's National Development Squad.
WELCOME TO OHIO
Ohio's 2018 roster features eight new faces to the program -- sophomore midfielder Maeve Gordon (WestMilfordd, N.J.), sophomore midfielder Jillian Shive (Lebanon, Ohio), sophomore defender Alex Worrallo (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.).
MAC PRESEASON POLL
Ohio was picked to finish sixth in the 2018 Mid-American Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced the league office on Wednesday (Aug. 22). The preseason poll was voted on by the league's seven head coaches. The Bobcats garnered 18 points overall. Ohio went 4-12 a year ago -- including 2-4 in MAC play. Miami, which received six of seven first-place votes, was selected to repeat as the conference's regular season champion. The RedHawks also received five of seven votes to win a second-straight MAC tournament title.
NEW CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT FORMAT
By virtue of winning last season's league tournament title, Miami will host to the 2018 MAC Championship Oct. 31-Nov. 3) in Oxford. All seven teams will qualify for the conference tournament this season, with the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receiving byes to the semifinals. The No. 6 and No. 7 seeds will face off in a play-in game, with the winner taking on the No. 3 seed in the quarterfinals. The No. 4 and No 5 seeds will matchup in the other quarterfinal contest. The 2018 MAC Championship Final will take place on Nov. 3, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Championship Field as conference champion. A total of 18 teams will qualify for the 2018 tournament. Ten teams will receive automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments and an additional eight teams will earn at-large bids. The national semifinals (Nov. 16) and championship match (Nov. 18) will be held at Louisville's Trager Stadium.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
The Bobcats will be facing off against both Saint Louis and Liberty this weekend.
Saint Louis currently stands with a 2-1 record to start the season with their most recent win over Colgate by a score of 3-1. The Billikens are making strides under third-year head coach Danielle Baumgardner. Saint Louis returns two of its top three scorers from a year ago. Senior midfielder Carly Kissinger (5G, 4A) was named A-10 Player of the Week last season. Redshirt Junior forward Erica Bondoc (3G, 3A) scored a pair of goals in the A-10 match against Richmond, the first time a Billiken has scored multiple goals in a conference match since 2006.
Liberty currently holds a 1-1 record after winning their first match against No.17 James Madison 6-1 and losing their second match to No. 3 Duke 4-3 in OT. No. 23 Liberty will face Kent State before their show down with the Bobcats. The Flames have strong showings offensively with senior midfielder/forward Agueda Moroni who was selected as the national offensive play of the week and Big East offensive play of the week. On the other side of the field, the junior goalkeeper Allison Schaefer has won Big East defensive player of the week honors.
The Bobcats will hit the road this Thursday (Sept. 6) to face the Stanford Cardinal in Bloomington Indiana. The match will begin at 3:30 p.m.