ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio field hockey team (4-10, 2-3 MAC) is set to conclude the 2017 regular season over the weekend when the Bobcats compete with MAC opponent Kent State (7-9, 4-1 MAC) on Saturday (Oct. 28) at 12 p.m. at Murphy-Mellis Field. Followed by a battle with Louisville (11-6, 4-2 ACC) on Sunday (Oct. 29) at 1 p.m. at Trager Stadium.
REWINDING SENIOR DAY
On goals from Kennedy Farr (Niagra-on-the-lake, Ontario), Karynne Baker (Falls Church, Va.) and Maria Russell (Hudson, Ohio) the Ohio field hockey team celebrated a 3-0 shutout over MAC-opponent Ball State on Thursday (Oct. 12) in Ohio's home finale.
Farr would post her first goal of the season early in the second minute of the match to put the Bobcats up 1-0 to start the contest. Russell would earn the assist on the goal before scoring herself in the 38th minute on a quick tap-in in the second half. Russell's goal would come after Baker put the Bobcats up 2-0 in the 7th minute on a penalty corner opportunity.
Alex Pennington (Easton, Pa.) had three saves in her 70 minutes of work, allowing no goals on three shots faced.
The Bobcats would win the shot battle over the Cardinals, 8-3. Kendall Ballard (Charlottesville, Va.) led the Bobcats with three shots on goal, followed by Russel who had two, and Farr, freshman Leah Warren (Hamilton, New Zealand), and Baker each added one. The corner battle would also go to Ohio, posting four compared to Ball State's two.
RUSSELL, PENNINGTON SWEEP MAC-WEEKLY AWARDS
Russell and Pennington would sweep the week of October 8-14 Mid-American Conference Player of the Week awards, with Pennington earning Defensive Player of the Week and Russell earning Offensive Player of the Week the league announced Tuesday (Oct. 17).
Russell now has a .429 shot percentage along with a .714 shots on goal percentage this season paired with six goals, 14 shots and one assist. The senior has also garnered 26 goals on her career on 69 shots and 47 shots on goal during her four years.
Pennington also helped Ohio secure a 3-0 shutout over the Cardinals. The junior recorded all 70 minutes guarding the net and did not allow a single goal, earning three saves on the day. Ball State earned two corner opportunities and three shots on goal on the match and Pennington recorded a stop on each one.
Pennington now has 54 saves on the year along with a .684 save percentage. The junior has also racked up a total of 118 career saves.
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 132-123 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.
KENT STATE SCOUTING REPORT
The Flashes are currently 7-9 overall and 4-1 in the MAC. Kent State is coming off of a 3-2 overtime victory over Longwood at home on Oct. 21.
The Flashes are ranked second in the MAC, just behind Miami. Kent State is second in the conference in shots with 235 on the season while the Flashes lead the MAC in assists with 34. Kent State also leads in corners, earning 121 on the year. Ines Delpech is currently tied at second in the conference in shots with 70 on the year, averaging 16 per-contest. Jessica Nesbitt and Clara Rodriguez Sero rank first and second in assists in the conference with 11 and nine respectively.
This will be the 76th meeting between Ohio and Kent State with the Flashes leading the series 48-26-2. The last time the two squads met was in Athens on Oct. 21 where Kent State secured a 2-1 double overtime victory in the Bobcat's home finale. Ines Delpech would score early in the match for the Flashes at the four-minute mark. Ohio would respond in the 23rd minute on a goal by Amelia Milton to tie it up at 1-1. Pennington posted an impressive game in goal with four saves on five corner attempts. Kent State's Madison Thompson would score the game winning goal in the 16th corner of the match in the second overtime period to give the Flashes the 2-1 victory.
LOUISVILLE SCOUTING REPORT
The Cardinals are currently 11-6 overall and 4-2 in the ACC. Louisville is coming off of a 6-2 loss to Big Ten competition Michigan on Oct. 22nd. The Cardinals have posted impressive wins over North Carolina, Boston College and Syracuse.
Ohio leads the series with Louisville 28-11. The last time the two squads met in regular season play was in 2014 where the No. 7 Louisville squad posed a 2-0 win over the Bobcats in Athens, Ohio. The Bobcats and the Cardinals met in 2016 in an exhibition match where Louisville would post an 8-0 shutout at Trager Stadium.