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Field Hockey: MAC play underway as Ohio set to host Miami

Correction appended.

A weekend of games against in-state opponents awaits Ohio. That includes the first Mid-American Conference game of the season against Miami on Friday, and a non-conference meeting with Ohio State on Sunday.

Ohio (1-5) comes into the weekend with a five-game losing streak. The Bobcats have just three goals in the 350 minutes of the losing streak. 

Kendall Ballard leads the Bobcats in goals with five and is the only person to score since the 4-1 loss to Ball State on Aug. 27.

The offense has struggled during the losing streak and has not been able to create chances. Ohio has attempted only 20 shots and 13 penalty corners. 

“We've got a great corner unit but we've only had a handful of corners all season and we can't rely on something like that if we're not winning corners,” coach Neil Macmillan said. “We need to do a better job of our attack of generating more opportunities.”

Miami (2-4) will come to Athens on a four-game losing streak. The skill of the Miami players, however, will be something Ohio's defense will have to be wary of.

“We can't get drawn into one-on-one battles all over the field because that's not how we're going to be successful,” Macmillan said. 

Paula Portugal is the player Ohio will be paying close attention to, as she has four goals this season. She also scored 18 goals in the 2016 season. Four other RedHawks have two goals apiece this season, but Portugal is the only player that has taken more than 10 shots this season. 

“We want to win as a team, I want to do it for the team, I want to do it for the school, we hate Miami and we want revenge, we're coming back for blood,” Karynne Baker said after Sunday’s loss. 

Ohio will also host Ohio State (3-2) on Sunday in a non-conference game. The Bobcats are hoping to see how the team improved since the teams played in an exhibition at the start of the season, Macmillan said. 

The series has not been kind to Ohio as they have won only six of the 25 meetings including losses in four of the past five years. 

The teams know each other well, as the players have grown up playing field hockey on teams together before their collegiate careers.

The Friday match against Miami has an unusual early start of 3 p.m. at Pruitt Field, but the Sunday match against Ohio State will start at the normal time of 1 p.m.  


Correction: A previous version of this report misspelled Neil Macmillan's name. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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