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CLEVELAND -- The Ohio field hockey team was picked to finish fourth in the 2019 Mid-American Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office today (Aug. 26). The preseason poll was voted on by the league's seven head coaches.
The Bobcats garnered 30 points overall and received one first place votes. Miami, which received five 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. Kent State was selected to finish second in the poll with a total of 38 points, receiving one first place vote. Longwood was tabbed to finish third with 36 points. Appalachian State (20 points) and Ball State (18 points) were picked to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, while Central Michigan rounded out the poll in seventh place with nine points. Kent State and Appalachian State each received a vote to win the MAC Tournament.
Ohio begins its 15-match regular season slate this weekend with a pair of home contests at Pruitt Field. The Bobcats host Drexel on Friday (Aug. 30) for a 1 p.m. EST match, then play Boston University on Saturday (Aug. 31) for at 7 p.m. EST.
Ohio will open up MAC play on the road against Appalachian State on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. EST in Boone, N.C.
The Bobcats return junior Jillian Shive (Lebanon, Ohio), who earned All-MAC Second Team in 2018. Shive, who played and started in all 17 games for Ohio in 2018, scored 11 goals, good enough for second in the MAC, while also tallying one assist for a team-leading 23 points. In her first year at Ohio, Shive finished top five in the MAC in points, points per game, goals, shots on goal, shot percentage, and game-winning goals. Johnstone's Bobcats also return senior Karynne Baker (Falls Church, Va.), one of five seniors on the roster. Baker recorded six goals on 24 shots in 2018, while also assisting on four goals. Her individual goal and point totals finished top-10 in the MAC in 2018.
By virtue of winning last season's league tournament title, Miami will host to the 2019 MAC Championship (Nov. 6-Nov. 9) 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 2019 MAC Championship Final will take place on Nov. 9, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Championship Field as conference champion. A total of 18 teams will qualify for the 2019 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. 22) and championship match (Nov. 24) will be held at North Carolina's Kentner Stadium.
2019 MAC Field Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll Results
1. Miami – 45 (5)
2. Kent State – 38 (1)
3. Longwood – 36
4. Ohio – 30 (1)
5. Appalachian State – 20
6. Ball State – 18
7. Central Michigan – 9
Tournament Champion- Miami (5), Kent State (1), Appalachian State (1)