Prior to Ohio's semester-closing series against Delaware, coach Sean Hogan looked back at the Bobcats' first half of the season.
The fourth-year coach was impressed at how far Ohio has come since its first three weeks of the season, where the Bobcats started 4-2-0 but didn't look as consistent as Hogan wanted.
Ohio found the consistency and is 12-2-1 since, but the Bobcats' 6-2 win Friday night over Delaware at Bird Arena looked similar to how No. 3 Ohio played at the beginning of the season.
"It was just inconsistent and uninspired," Hogan said. "From the start of the game, I think we played (eight) weeks in a row against a ranked opponent, and we saw an unranked opponent on our schedule and we thought we could just show up and win. You have to show up every single day."
The Bobcats were consistent in that they scored two goals each period, but with each flash of consistency came a stretch where Ohio appeared to play down to Delaware's level.
The better moments for Ohio came from Matt Rudin. The forward made a pair of sharp passes across the goalie's crease to Bryan Lubin, who one-timed each of them into the net for the Bobcats' third and fourth goals of the night.
But that came after troubling moments like Delaware scoring the first goal of the game four minutes into play. The Bobcats also relied on goalie Jimmy Thomas to bail out some Ohio defensive miscues and intercepted passes.
"Granted, we ended up winning by a large spread, but it should've been 7-0," Hogan said. "We can't do what we did (tonight) tomorrow night."
Rudin expressed concern over Ohio's mentality against opponents who may not appear to be even with the Bobcats' higher talent level. In the first two weeks of the season, Ohio earned a 6-0 win against John Carroll and 6-2 and 4-1 wins against Navy, but the Bobcats didn't look ready to finish the lesser-talented opponents until later in those games.
Ohio thought those type of games would be behind them, but Friday's inconsistent showing proves that the Bobcats have to approach non-ranked opponents a bit differently, Rudin said.
"I just feel like when we play not the strongest of teams or like league games, we kind of play down to their level a little bit," he said. "We get away from our systems that obviously work against our league teams. If we stick to those, ... we should dominate these teams through a full 60 (minutes)."
Ohio will look for a more complete performance on Saturday night. The Bobcats can complete the sweep at 7:30 p.m. against Delaware at Bird Arena in their final game before heading into the winter break.