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Ohio's Maria Russell passes the ball during a game against Longwood at Pruitt Field on Oct. 18, 2015. The Bobcats won 5-1. (File)

Field Hockey: Ohio scores seven goals in opening weekend split

Ohio began the season with two games in two days, one against a Mid-American Conference rival, and came away with one win in Muncie, Indiana, over the weekend.

The season began on a high note, as Ohio (1-1) took down Saint Louis, 6-1, on Saturday, as Kendall Ballard notched a hat trick. The six goals were the most the Bobcats have scored since Sept. 1, 2012, when they won 9-0 over Radford.

Within the first sixteen minutes, Ohio had a three-goal lead, as last season’s top scorers — Ballard, Maria Russell, and Karynne Baker — scored, and Baker picked up assists on two goals.

Saint Louis (0-2) responded just before halftime but wasn't able to get any closer in the second half.

Emma Spinnetto scored her first collegiate goal in the 44th minute and was followed one minute later by Ballard scoring off a penalty corner. Ballard finished her hat trick in the 60th minute off another penalty corner.

Emma Eggleston led the Bobcats in assists with three.

The goalkeeping duty was split between Sophie Boothby and Alex Pennington, with each recording one save.

The bigger test was Sunday, when Ohio took on MAC opponent Ball State (2-0) and fell 4-1, with Baker scoring the lone Ohio goal.  

Ball State struck first, in the 18th minute, off a penalty corner that Carley Shannon put past Boothby.

Ohio briefly tied the game, but within two minutes, Ball State was back in the lead. The lead grew in the second half to three.

Coach Neil Macmillian was not afraid to use his freshmen in the first two games, as four of them started both games.

Ohio plays on the road next weekend with a game against Cornell on Friday, followed by a matchup with Syracuse, ranked fifth by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, on Sunday.

@TREricWalker

ew399115@ohio.edu

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