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Ohio University forward Brittany Keen attempts to steal the ball from Saint Louis during their game against the Billikens on Friday, August 31. The Ohio Bobcats won 4-1. (FILE)

Field Hockey: Ohio wins MAC opener

Ohio opened up Mid-American Conference play Friday with its first shutout of the season, as it beat Appalachian State, 1-0, at Pruitt Field.

It was the second home win of the season for Ohio (2-4, 1-0 MAC). The Bobcats only won one home game last season.

Ohio opened the scoring in the 50th minute, when sophomore Jillian Shive scored her third goal of the season off an assist from redshirt freshman Tayla Hansen.

After allowing 15 goals in its last two games, the Ohio defense did not allow a goal on eight shots. Goalie Alex Pennington recorded the shutout in just her second start of the season and the third of her career. 

With just under six minutes remaining, Appalachian State (4-4, 0-1 MAC) did everything it could to score a goal. The Mountaineers called a timeout to talk strategy and pulled their goalie. The Ohio defense held strong, allowing just one shot, which Pennington saved to hold on to the win.  

Ohio struggled to generate shots in open play, but was able to draw penalty corners. The Bobcats had seven penalty corners and were able to convert each one into a shot, four of them on goal. 

Ohio had ten shots for the game, its average for the year, four shots more than last year's average. 

Last year, Ohio finished behind Appalachian State in the standings and missed the MAC tournament. This year, every team will make the tournament. With seeding determining which teams play each other, having the tie breaker could be the difference.

Ohio's home stand continues Thursday, when it will host non-conference opponent UC Davis at 4 p.m. 


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