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Maria Russell goes for the goal during Ohio's game against Miami University on Sept. 15, 2017. The Bobcats lost 0-3. (Blake Nissen | Photo Editor)

Field Hockey: Forwards key to recent success for Ohio

Back-to-back wins for the first time this season has shown Ohio field hockey they can continue winning in Mid-American Conference play with how it's playing. 

For the first 17 days of September, Ohio (3-8, 1-2 MAC) went through a six-game streak of attempting no more than four shots per game. In the three games since then, Ohio has attempted 35 shots and scored six goals. 

The offensive surge has helped the offense to two wins in the last three games, but there is still plenty of improvement to make. 

The list of goal scorers for the Bobcats contains only four names: Kendall Ballard, Maria Russell, Karynne Baker and Emma Spinetto. 

Field hockey is a sport that does not usually have any more than three or four goals in a game between both teams. Goals are hard to come by and are usually scored by only a few players on a team. When those players struggle, teams have a hard time scoring. 

The problem for Ohio is if Ballard struggles, much of the team’s offense is gone. She is where all the goals originate from, with her three assists to go along with her seven goals. With all other goal scorers being forwards, there needs to be a player getting the ball to them. 

The Bobcats don’t need Ballard to be the one scoring the goal, evidenced by Saturday’s 2-0 win over Central Michigan with Russell scoring both goals. Ballard was still involved in the lead-up to the goal with the shot that was saved, but taped in by Russell and the assist on the second goal. 

Ohio looks to be finding its offensive groove with the most important games of the season coming up. Sitting at 1-2 in MAC play, Ohio needs to win a minimum of two of its final three games to have a good chance of making the conference tournament after missing it last year for the first time since 1989. 


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