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Ohio's Elena Curley hits the ball past Michigan State's Megan Fenton during a game on October 11, 2015. (LAUREN BACHO | FILE)

Field Hockey: Ohio hits the road for first two MAC away games of the year

Ohio will play its first Mid-American Conference road games this weekend as the teams take on Ball State for the second time this season and Longwood for the third time since 1990.

Ball State (6-7, 1-1 MAC) comes having won two out of its last three games since losing in overtime 3-2 to Ohio in Athens on Sept. 25. The Cardinals tied the game in the 69th minute before the Bobcats scored the winner in overtime.

The Cardinals are a defensive-minded team; they've only scored 18 goals on the season and no more than three in one game. They've allowed 32 goals on the year.

Jordan Dues has been putting up a very good performance in goal for Ball State. She has 75 saves on the year and only allows 2.32 goals per game on average, despite 107 shots on goal taken by her opponents.

An area where Ohio has an advantage is in that Ball State has allowed 127 penalty corners, just under 10 per game. Half of Ohio’s goals have started with a penalty corner.

Ohio (5-7, 2-0 MAC) will look to go 2-0 against Ball State this season and 3-0 in the MAC on Oct. 13 when they travel to Muncie, Indiana at 3 p.m.

The Bobcats will continue their road trip by heading to Farmville, Virginia, to take on the Longwood Lancers (6-7, 0-3 MAC, as of Wednesday afternoon).

The top two scorers for Longwood are Edel Nyland and Leonie Verstraete, who have 12 and 11 goals respectively. Recently both of them have struggled to score. Nyland has gone four games without a goal, and Verstraete is scoreless in the Lancers' past two games.

Longwood began conference play with three straight losses, but they were all one-goal games and included conference favorites Miami and Kent State.

The Lancers are on a four-game losing streak, one which coincides with their star players not being able to find the net. Nyland and Verstraete have taken 114 of the 179 Lancer shots on the season.

Ohio leads the all-time series record 2-1 and has not lost to Longwood since 1990 as the series was restarted in 2014. The Bobcats have won the past two games by penalty strokes in 2014 and 5-1 last year.

If Ohio wins both these MAC conference games, they will head into games with a guarantee of a top-three finish.

@TREricWalker

ew399115@ohio.edu

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