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

Field Hockey: Ohio fails to complete late comeback against Longwood

Correction appended.

Karynne Baker picked up the loose pass in the attacking 25-yard area and dribbled toward the goal as the clock closed in on two minutes left. 

The ball was fired into the striking circle, where it found the stick of Maria Russell with only the goalie in between her and a goal. 

Russell is deadly in front of the goal, and she fired the shot past the goalie for her fourth goal of the season and cut Ohio's deficit to one.

“All I was thinking, like this just needs to go in, and I saw it bouncing and bouncing then I just stepped into it and heard the backboard and freaked out,” Russell said. 

With one minute left, a frenzy picked up as Longwood was unable to clear the ball. 

Katie Wyman came out from goal to challenge Russell, but she evaded the goalie and had an open goal ahead. The angle was tight for Russell, and Ohio thought it was about to score the tying goal.

That was until it hit the outside of the post and deflected out of bounds as the horn blew. Game over. 

“This goalie is coming out at me and I’m just going to pull right, and then when I shot it just skimmed the post,” Russell said. “It eats me up inside; it really kills me.”

A timeout in the 59th minute helped the offense improve, but it wasn't enough to recover from a 2-0 deficit and Ohio (3-9, 1-3 Mid-American Conference) lost to Longwood (10-2, 3-0 MAC) 2-1 in MAC play. 

"When the urgency was there and we changed formation a little bit and went a bit more aggressive that gave us that opportunity to really put the pressure on in the last five minutes,” coach Neil Macmillan said.

The physical nature of the game began at the start with Ohio and Longwood players colliding every few minutes. Both teams’ fans were clamoring for fouls when one of each team's players was strewn on the turf, but the officials let the teams play a physical game that they adjusted to in the second half.

“The umpires let us play so it was probably a bit more like a game of rugby than a game of hockey at times but weren't calling things either direction and both teams play to the whistle,” Macmillan said. 

With very few chances throughout the game for either side, the Lancers converted on two of their three penalty corners. In the 19th minute, a penalty corner resulted in a loose ball in front of goal at Charlotte Wilm’s feet — she scored. As the first half wound down, Longwood drew a penalty corner and doubled its lead with a Leonie Verstraeten goal.

The stats were almost completely even for the teams, as both attempted six shots and had two of them on goal, but Wyman made the only save of the game.

“I was really, really proud of how we continued to fight and continue to play despite it being physical,” Macmillan said. “That's not something I've seen out of this team consistently in the past but it was there consistently today." 


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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