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Ohio's Gabby Lorenzo fights for the ball during the Bobcats' game against Ohio State on Sept. 17. (FILE)

Field Hockey: Solid team-wide performance gives Ohio first MAC win of season

Ohio had its most complete performance Saturday. The Bobcats earned their first shutout since 2015 and their first Mid-American Conference win of the season.

Led by Maria Russell’s two goals, Ohio (3-8, 1-2 MAC) picked up a 2-0 win over Central Michigan (0-10, 0-2 MAC) in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

On Saturday, the Bobcats controlled the ball and stayed in their attacking half. 

The constant pressure Ohio put on the Central Michigan defense resulted in the first goal of the game in the 26th minute.

With Central Michigan passing the ball around its backfield, Russell snatched the ball away and passed it to Kendall Ballard, who dribbled to the left side of the striking circle and fired a shot on goal. 

The Central Michigan goalie stopped the shot but could not clear the ball as it fell to her feet. Russell got to the ball first and poked the ball into the corner of the net. 

After halftime, the game evened out as both teams attempted five shots. But then Ohio put the game out of reach in the 47th minute, thanks to Russell again. 

Ballard dribbled around the defense and fired a shot that was redirected by Russell into the goal. The deflection by Russell inside the striking circle was important, as Ballard took the shot from outside the striking circle. The goal would not have counted without the deflection. 

Early in the season, the Bobcats struggled to attempt shots, but now have 35 in the past three games.

Ballard continued to be the leading shooter for the Bobcats with six shots, two of which were on goal. She now has 35 shots this season, making her the only player on Ohio with a double-digit total of shots.

Homecoming weekend begins Friday with Ohio hosting Longwood (9-1, 2-0 MAC) at 5 p.m., which comes in on a five-game winning streak. 


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