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Maria Russell dodges a defender during the game against Ball State on October 12, 2017. The Bobcats won 3-0. (Abigail Dean | For The Post)

Field Hockey: Unusually long break before final MAC game

Correction appended.

It will come down to one game for Ohio to see if it will make the Mid-American Conference tournament, but the Bobcats must wait two weeks to play that game. 

Coming off a 3-0 win over Ball State Oct. 12, Ohio (4-10, 2-3 MAC) has a 16-day break before its final conference game of the season.  

The long break between games will not change how Ohio prepares, even though it is something unusual for field hockey teams during the season. 

“If you're doing something completely different and foreign to the team then it can really become a big problem,” coach Neil Macmillan said. "So we try to keep everything as similar to what we do as normal and hopefully that will allow us to develop and use this to rest."

Ohio has been playing its best in the past five games with a 3-2 record and all facets of the game showing improvement. The offense was struggling to score one goal every game until recently. Maria Russell has recently erupted, however, with five of Ohio's 10 goals in the past five games. 

The Ohio defense has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the season, but being led by freshmen, it has endured growing pains throughout the season. The six goals given up in the past five games, three MAC games, has shown the defense Ohio has been needing all year. 

While the other teams are playing and showing their tactics, Ohio will be able to keep new tactics hidden from the view of opponents. 

“We were talking about what other options we can put in now, one that they wouldn't have seen and two, that we can just drill so that we are ready to go,” Macmillan said.

All of Ohio’s focus is on Kent State (6-9, 3-1 MAC), even though Louisville awaits Ohio the following day, as a win is necessary. Throughout the season, the team has spent more time preparing for the first game of each weekend. 

Ohio and Appalachian State (6-8, 2-3) are tied at 2-3 in conference with the Mountaineers holding the tiebreaker due to beating the Bobcats 3-2 on Sept. 22. 

“All we can control and what we can worry about is the Kent (game),” Macmillan said. “That's what's in our control, that's what we have to do. Whatever else happens happens."

Ohio endured an eight-game losing streak this season, but still has a chance to make the MAC tournament with a win Oct. 28. 


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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