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Alex Pennington fights off defenders during Ohio's game against VCU on Sunday. The Bobcats lost 2-1.

Field Hockey: Ohio offense struggled to create chances

Correction appended.

Ohio advanced the ball into the attacking quarter. The pass went down the line, but the intended target ran inward. The ball was turned over.

This was a reoccurring event for the Bobcats on Sunday. 

Ohio's inability to create scoring chances resulted in it being swept by Virginia Commonwealth (4-1) in their first home series of the season, losing 3-1 on Saturday and 2-1 on Sunday.

With 11 minutes remaining in a tie game Sunday, VCU's Colleen Rogers tapped the ball into the goal for what would be the winning goal.

The Bobcats still had time left. But in the final 11 minutes, they were only able to create one shot, which they missed.

Ohio's lone goal, in the 37th minute, was scored off of a penalty stroke from press defense.

“We were switched to a really high three press, so in that situation we do try to cut off the ball, at least cheat, and then, if we can cut off the ball, it would be ideal,” Karynne Baker said.

All three shots for Ohio on Sunday came from Kendall Ballard, none of which were in open play. Two came from penalty corners that went wide of the goal, plus the penalty stroke she scored on. 

"Disappointing" and "flat" were two words used by coach Neil Macmillan to describe his team’s performance after Saturday's loss, in which the Bobcats only managed one shot in the first half.

Struggling to pass the ball in the attacking 25 yards, Ohio needed someone to take the ball when it got to that area.

The Bobcats did have Ballard, who was able to do that in the 47th minute. After spinning around multiple VCU defenders to give herself room to shoot, she put the ball into the upper corner of the goal. It was her fourth goal of the season, which tied the game at one and ended a 227-minute scoreless streak for Ohio. 

Ohio only picked up one penalty corner Saturday. Leah Warren took the shot, forcing a save. Warren was involved in the attack Saturday and was a key part of the defense.

Not being able to create chances is something Ohio has been dealing with all season.

“We've got to find a way of just seeing what we're doing in the attacking 25 and try to be a bit more aggressive getting the ball going at goal," Macmillan said. 

Ohio plays its first Mid-American Conference game of the season Friday at 3 p.m. against Miami (2-4) at Pruitt Field.


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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