ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio field hockey team (1-1, 0-0 MAC) is set to continue the non-conference portion of the 2017 season on the road this weekend when the Bobcats travel to Ithica, N.Y. to compete with Cornell (0-0, 0-0 Ivy) followed by a match with No. 5 Syracuse (3-0, 0-0 ACC).
Ohio will battle the Big Red on Friday (Sept. 1) at 5 p.m. ET at the Marsha Dodson Field. The Bobcats will then move on to face No. 5 ranked Syracuse on Sunday (Sept. 3) at 2 p.m. ET at the J.S. Coyne Stadium.
REWINDING LAST WEEK
The Bobcats went 1-1 (.500) during the opening weekend of the 2016 season. Ohio won the first of two road matches 6-1 against Saint Louis on Saturday (Aug. 26), followed by a tough 4-1 loss to familiar-foe Ball State on Sunday (Aug. 27).
The Bobcats were led by three goals from junior Kendall Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.) and a goal a piece from Maria Russell (Hudson, Ohio), Karynne Baker (Falls Church, Va.) and Emma Spinnetto (Louisville, Ky.) in the win over Saint Louis. Emma Eggleston (Houston, Tx.) led the way in assists with three on the day while Baker recorded two on the day. Ballard, Russell and Megan Silveira each added one assist for the Bobcats.
Sophia Boothby (Spotsylvania, Va.) would get the start in goal for the first half, recording one save on the day while Alex Pennington (Easton, Pa.) protected the net in the second half recording one save on the game.
Ohio outshot Saint Louis 12-6 and won the corner battle 9-3.
Baker would score Ohio's single goal against Ball State and Ohio would record seven shots total on the game with four on goal.
The Bobcats won the corner battle with the Cardinals 6-3.
Boothby would tally three saves on the game against Ball State.
MACMILLAN RETURNS FOR 13TH SEASON
Neil Macmillan is at the helm for his 13th season at Ohio. The Portsmouth, England, native sports an all-time record of 125-114 and has led the Bobcats to four MAC titles, 2006, '07, '09 and '11, during his tenure. He is the longest-tenured head coach in Mid-American Conference field hockey and notched his name in the record books as the all-time winningest coach in Ohio field hockey history last season.
The Bobcats return junior Kendall Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.), who earned First Team All-Mid-American Conference and Second Team All-Region honors while she also earned a spot on the U.S. U-21 National Team with USA Field Hockey. She led the Bobcats with a career-high 12 goals, 28 points, 55 shots and 31 shots on goal. Ballard also finished tied for second on the squad in assists (4), which was also a career-high. Ballard finished in the top-10 in the Mid-American Conference in shots (9th), points (5th), goals (5th) and assists (10th) during the 2016 season.
Senior Maria Russell (Hudson, Ohio) also returns to the Bobcat lineup for 2017. She received Second Team All-MAC recognition following the 2016 season. Russell finished in a tie for second on Ohio with six goals and was second on the squad in shots on goal with 15. Russell also ranked third on the team in shots (21) and points (14) while adding two assists to bring her career total to three. Russell now has 20 career goals to start her senior season.
Ohio's 2016 roster features six new players,-- Claire Buckey(Powell, Ohio), Peyton Taylor (Catonsville, Md.), Emma Spinnetto(Louisville, Ky.), Samara Schratz (McMurray, Pa.), Annmarie Hoppel (Fredricksburg, Va.) and Leah Warren(Hamilton, New Zeland).
BOBCATS PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH IN MAC PRESEASON POLL
The Ohio field hockey team has been picked to place fourth in the league standings in the 2017 Mid-American Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches, the league office announced.
The Bobcats received 19 points to tie with Ball State to finish fourth in the poll.
Defending league champion Kent State was picked to win the MAC by way of 41 points – including six first-place votes. The Golden Flashes were also picked to win the conference's tournament championship. Miami garnered 35 points to place second in the poll and also received one first-place vote. Longwood would fall in the third spot with 25 points.
Appalachian State and Central Michigan each tied for sixth place with four points each to round out the poll.
CORNELL SCOUTING REPORT
Ohio fell to Cornell last season in the first-ever meeting, 2-1. The Big Red will be opening the 2017 season with the match against Ohio after going 10-7 in 2016 and 4-3 in the Ivy League. Cornell said goodbye to three key contributors to graduation, but the Big Red will return seniors, Krysten Mayers and Katie Carlson. Mayers led Cornell in goals, averaging 1.29 goals per game. Carlson recorded eight goals on the season as well as seven assists. Cornell will also return senior goalkeeper Kelly Johnson, who ranks first in career wins for the Big Red with 22.
No. 5 SYRACUSE SCOUTING REPORT
The Bobcats are 0-3 with Syracuse thus far in the series. The last time the two squads met on the field was in the 2014 season where Ohio suffered a 7-0 loss to the Orange. The Orange start the season with three wins after recording three shutouts on the road over Cal, No. 25 Pacific and UC Davis. Leading the way for Syracuse is Carolin Hoffmann. Hoffman has recorded three goals on 14 shots on the season. Jennifer Bleakney and Lies Lagerweij have also played a large role on the Orange with Bleakney's two assists and one goal and Lagerweij's two goals. In goal for Syracuse, Borg van der Velde is 3-0 with three saves on the year. The Orange have tallied 62 shots and eight goals on the season.
After the weekend on the road, Ohio will begin the home slate of the 2017 schedule in a series with Virginia Commonwealth starting on Saturday (Sept. 9) at 12 p.m. with game two set for Sunday (Sept. 10) at 1 p.m. at Pruitt Field.