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Ohio's Brittany Zorn struggles with Kent State's Nicole Leach in order to maintain possession of the ball during last year's Oct. 22 match at Pruitt Field. The Bobcats became more unified during their spring season this year. (Katharine Egli | FILE)

Field Hockey: More cohesive Bobcats approach offseason

Only a few more days remain for the field hockey team’s coaching staff to check off final assessments of the players before the Bobcats depart for the summer offseason to work on their own.

The spring season comes to a close for coach Neil Macmillan and the field hockey team this week. Ohio spent a lot of the season with a focus in the conditioning and the tactical side of the game. The team has unified during the spring and become a much more cohesive group, Macmillan said.

“I think the key thing is how together we are as a team,” he said. “The one huge thing that I noticed was how comfortable the team has become playing with each other. I am very happy with where we are right now.”

With the Bobcats developing stronger team chemistry, Macmillan also witnessed the team’s overall game play and competitiveness take long strides in improving. Ohio did not have a full roster for the spring and was forced to play smaller games of five-versus-five that emphasized the development of the individual players.

Going into the summer, Macmillan and his staff prepared various workouts for the team, as the coaches cannot have direct contact with the players as they do during the year.

“The big question for any fall coach is, ‘What happens when you send the players off on their own?’” Macmillan said. “I think we have a good group that has the dedication to do the work in the offseason.”

Macmillan is giving the team fitness and running routines to follow, and on top of the workouts, the team’s strength coach prepared a weight-lifting program. Macmillan is looking closely at the Bobcats’ readiness for the fall season.

“That’s the important thing for right now: making sure that they’re prepared,” Macmillan said. “Also hoping everyone gets opportunities to play over the summer at home or with each other in captain practices.”

The Bobcats competed in the Athletes in Action triathlon May 7 and used it as a team-building exercise and a challenge for conditioning. The team was enthusiastic about the triathlon and gave Macmillan the opportunity to push his team. They became interested in doing a full triathlon after completing one in teams, Macmillan said.

mb832409@ohiou.edu

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