ATHENS, Ohio— The Ohio field hockey team (4-7) (2-1) is set to continue conference play this Friday (Oct. 12) at Longwood (7-4) (2-2). The game against Longwood will start at 3 p.m. in Farmville, Virginia.
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 Longwood (7-4). Longwood has a current record of 2-2 in conference play this season. The Lancers are coming off a two-game losing streak against Kent State in double overtime (L, 3-2 OT2) and Miami University (L, 0-4). Longwood is led by Olivia Wawrzyniak who has scored 7 goals this season. The Lancers are averaging 14.7 shots per game with the average of 2.0 goals per game. The Longwood defense has made 63 saves so far into this season with a total .750 save average.
The Bobcats will return home to Athens next Friday (Oct. 19) to face Kent State to continue conference play at Pruitt Field. The match will begin at 3:00 p.m. EST.