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Ohio's Maria Russell dodges a defender during the Bobcats' game against Ball State on October 12. (FILE)

Field Hockey: Tough opponents for Ohio in final weekend of season

Correction appended.

For the second-straight year, there will be no Mid-American Conference tournament appearance for Ohio. 

The Bobcats are on the wrong side of the tiebreakers, even with a win over the weekend.

Ohio will play Kent State and Louisville on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Ohio has not played since Oct. 12 against Ball State. During this time, Ohio has been able to implement new tactics, clean up old ones and make sure that everyone is at full strength for the last games.

"Last week was a much harder week than this week... they responded really well to that and worked very hard,” coach Neil Macmillan said. “This week we're backing off and taking it nice and easy, hopefully have very fresh legs for the last two games."

Kent State and Ohio have a history of playing close games, no matter how the teams have performed. Every time the two teams meet the games are close, but Kent State has had the upper-hand of late.

Kent State has won the past five meetings between the teams and in the series history has a 47-26 record over Ohio.

"Our game against Kent is great cause it’s a rivalry game anyway… we play them well, I think that's the motivation more than anything coming into this weekend is the game against Kent,” Macmillan said. 

The Golden Flashes offense revolves around Jessica Nesbitt, who has 11 assists on the season. 

A trip to No. 9 Louisville (11-6, 4-2 ACC) follows for Ohio to end the season. The offensive threats for the Cardinals are numerous, as six different players have scored at least four goals. All those players have picked up assists this season. 

The best finish for Ohio's conference record would be 3-3, tied for fourth. The Bobcats, however, would lose the tiebreaker. 

"You always want to win a game but especially now… we do know it’s our last weekend of playing,” freshman player Annmarie Hoppel said. “We have absolutely nothing to lose with this game so we might as well just go all out and leave nothing on the 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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