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

Field Hockey: Ohio looks for season's first win in weekend battles with Saint Louis and Liberty

Coach Ali Johnstone will coach her first home game at the helm of the program this weekend when Ohio searches for its first win of the season.

The opponents for Friday and Sunday are different teams; Saint Louis is a similar team to Ohio, while Liberty is ranked a top-25 team in the country. 

Ohio will look to improve its performances at Pruitt Field — the Bobcats only won once at their home field last season.  

Saint Louis

After three games, Saint Louis (2-1) has already proven its solid attack and strong defense.

Saint Louis spreads out its attack and doesn't rely on just one player — thus far, the Billikens' five goals have been spread between four goal scorers. Both of Emily Wastell's two shots on goal have gone in, and Carly Kissinger has three assists to go along with a goal of her own.

Ohio will need to solve the Saint Louis defense, which has only allowed 10 shots on goal to this point. Goalkeeper Sasha Sander has made seven saves on those shots.

Last year, Ohio opened the season on the road against Saint Louis and won 6-1 with three goals from Kendall Ballard. Emma Eggleston assisted on three goals, and Karynne Baker had two assists along with a goal of her own.

Ohio cannot have a repeat of Sunday’s game against Monmouth. The Bobcats had a 2-0 lead for 50 minutes before losing in overtime. Saint Louis has scored four of its five goals in the second half. 

Liberty

Liberty (1-1) has scored nine times and given up five goals and — as the 23rd-ranked team in the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association Poll — will pose a challenge for Ohio. No. 3 Duke, a formidable team, needed overtime to beat Liberty. 

The Ohio defense will need to know where Agueda Moroni is throughout the game. In just two games this season, Moroni has four goals and three assists. Her ability to create goal-scoring opportunities for her teammates is a big threat.

Goalie Alison Schaefer has made 15 saves in the first two games, stopping 75 percent of the shots she's faced. 

Five of Liberty’s goals have come off penalty corners — the Bobcats must be prepared for the different plays the Flames will use on penalty corners.

@TREricWalker

ew399115@ohio.edu

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