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Ohio’s Taylor Brown runs down the field against Indiana Sept. 18. Ohio lost, 3-2. (Alex Goodlett | OHIO ATHLETICS)

Field Hockey: Nationally ranked 'Cats fall in weekend matches

At first glance, it might appear as if Ohio’s back-to-back losses over the weekend came as a result of the distractions that can accompany a team new to the national rankings.

But take a look at the statistics from the games against Robert Morris and Indiana and it is evident that a lack of focus was not to blame in either case.

“We significantly outshot and outplayed the opposition,” said head coach Neil Macmillan. “If it had been a distraction, we wouldn’t have played as well in either of those games.”

With the 3-2 loss to the Hoosiers yesterday, Macmillan’s team fell to 6-2 on the season. The Bobcats gave up all three goals before half time, putting themselves in a hole to start the second half.

Two goals by Cathryn Altdoerffer made things interesting as the game was winding down, but the clock ran out before the Bobcats could complete the comeback.

Ohio outshot Indiana 13-4. In the second half, the Bobcats recorded nine shots, compared to only one by the Hoosiers.

“We have to look at the team and credit them for how well they fought and played,” Macmillan said. “We dominated that game, just not in the final score.”

The same could be said for Ohio’s loss at Robert Morris Friday, which marked the first defeat of the year for the Bobcats.

After neither team registered a goal in regulation, the game went into overtime. At that point, Ohio was leading in shots 16-1.

But the next shot came from the Colonials, and it went past goalkeeper Jen McGill to give Robert Morris a 1-0 overtime win.

“It was an extremely unlucky and unfortunate game for us,” said McGill, whose Bobcats had 10 more penalty corners than Robert Morris.

The senior from Louisville kept her team in both games, even though the offense was not productive enough to grab the lead in either one.

While the defense was uncharacteristic early on against Indiana, Macmillan said the inability to score was the difference in each loss. 

He gave credit to the Hoosiers and their skill level, but said the loss to Robert Morris should simply not have happened.

“I don’t think it’s the other team’s defense,” Macmillan said. “Their keeper made a couple nice saves (Sunday). They had a couple cleared off close to the line.

“But it’s just us finding that last, little touch, or putting it on target instead of just wide.

“It’s there. We’re creating the chances. It’s just one of those things (where) you got to put them in the back of the net.”

Macmillan admitted to being frustrated with the loss to Robert Morris, whose field turf can make things difficult for a team not used to it. 

To prepare, the Bobcats practiced at Peden Stadium in the days leading up to the game.

“They practice on that stuff for a month and we practice on it for a week,” McGill said. “It takes a lot to get used to. It really does. It’s a big transition.

“Our strength is passing and moving the ball quickly. And the ball just doesn’t move as quickly on it, so that kind of hinders what we do a little bit.”

Despite the first losses of the season, McGill said the team has no plans to think much about them. The Bobcats are already planning for Saturday’s opponent, St. Louis.

“We focus on what we have next,” McGill said. “We’re just going to move on from this.”

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