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Claire Buckey hits the ball up the field in the Sept. 17 Ohio vs. Ohio State game. (FILE)

Field Hockey: Bobcats face MAC test Friday

Correction appended.

Two games in the upcoming weekend for Ohio, but all the focus is on Friday’s game against Longwood with major implications on the Mid-American Conference Tournament. 

With three MAC games remaining and Ohio at 1-2, there is nothing the team can do but win if they want to be one of the four teams in the conference tournament. 

If Ohio (3-8, 1-2 MAC) loses, the possibility of making the conference tournament is based on how the other teams play, with the hope that they all lose to each other. 

The pressure is on Ohio to win and not be forced into a situation where it must beat preseason favorite Kent State at the end of the season.

The good news for Ohio is that its performance has stepped up in the past three games. The offense has scored six goals and the defense has only allowed four, leading to two wins in the three games.

Longwood (9-2, 2-0) is a team that has been playing well all season long and the only team in the MAC that has more wins than losses this season.

The Lancers have an offense that is averaging 2.82 goals per game behind the sticks of two players, Leonie Verstraete and Edel Nyland. They only give up one goal a game thanks to a solid defense that allows nine shots a game.

"They're probably going to score some goals so we need to make sure that we're on the scoresheet as well,” coach Neil Macmillan said.  “I think there are weaknesses for them that we will try to exploit but they're a team with a lot of confidence right now.”

The series record was tied at two last year when Longwood took down Ohio 3-1 in Farmville, Virginia behind goals from Nyland and Verstraete. 

Maria Russell picked up the lone goal for Ohio last year.

Longwood is not the only opponent for Ohio this weekend as they will head to Bloomington, Indiana to take on Indiana (5-7, 0-3 Big 10) on Sunday at 2 p.m.

This game does not have the same implications as it is a non-conference game, but will be used to see where the team is against a tough opponent. 

Its record may not indicate it, but Indiana is a good team that has challenged itself with seven games against ranked opponents this season. Three of Indiana’s five wins have been in close games against MAC teams; Miami, Central Michigan and Ball State. 

"I think they're a team that we go into with the opportunity to get a Big Ten win and not many MAC teams have that opportunity every year,” Macmillan said. 


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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