ATHENS, Ohio— The Ohio field hockey team (4-5) (2-0) is set to continue conference play this Friday (Oct. 5) at Ball State (1-10). The Bobcats will then travel to Columbus this Sunday (Oct. 7) to take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State (6-6). The game against Ball State will start at 3 p.m. and the game against Ohio State will start at 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 | Ohio v. Ball State | 3:00 p.m. | Briner Sports Complex | Muncie, Ind. | Live Stats and Video
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 | Ohio v. Ohio State | 1:00 p.m. | Buckeye Varsity Field | Columbus, Ohio | Live Stats and Video ($)
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. Johnstone's coaching staff consists of first-year assistant Louisa Boddy and second-year assistant Andrea Rinehart.
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 match up against the Ball State Cardinals (1-10). Ball State has a current record of 1-1 in conference play this season. The Cardinals are coming off a two-game losing streak against the University of North Carolina (L, 9-0) and the University of Louisville (L, 5-1). The Cardinals are led by Michelle Shampton who has scored 7 goals this season. Ball State is averaging 6.1 shots per game with the average of .82 goals per game. The Ball State defense has made 88 saves so far into this season.
Ohio Field Hockey will later match up against the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-6). The Buckeyes are coming off of a split schedule with a win over Indiana (W,1-0) and a double overtime loss to No.13 Iowa (L,2-1). The Ohio State offense is lead by Esther Clotet (13 goals) and Casey Cole (12 goals) this season. The Buckeyes are averaging 12.9 shots a game and scoring 2.42 goals per game. The Buckeye defense lead by goalkeeper Aaliyah Hernandez has made 44 saves this season.
After this weekend stretch the Bobcats will head out to Farmville, Virginia next Friday (Oct. 12) to face the Longwood Lancers to continue conference play at Elizabeth Burger Jackson Field. The match will begin at 3:00 p.m. EST.