For Ohio, it seemed like there was a chance for an optimistic start at the Mid-American Conference this past weekend. But, instead, the two games over the weekend didn't go as planned for the Bobcats as they lost 3-2 to Ball State and 5–2 to Ohio State.
Beating Ball State was the priority for the weekend, as it would have guaranteed Ohio (4-6, 2-1 MAC) at least a top-four seed in the MAC Tournament.
Freshmen Tayla Hansen and Ashley Wilbur led the Ohio attack that scored four goals, which saw two goals for Hansen and two assists for Wilbur.
All five goals from the Cardinals came off penalty corners. Each team struggled to get shots off from open play, but were able to draw penalty corners. Ball State made sure to convert with three to win 3-2 in double overtime.
Coming into the game, Ohio and Ball State were averaging four and six penalty corners, respectively, and both teams doubled that to nine and 12.
The first overtime saw both teams have opportunities in front of goal where a player missed the ball with an open goal.
Ohio could not slow down Ball State in the second overtime, as the Cardinals had two penalty corners and converted the second one that Ohio goalie Alex Pennington couldn't stop.
Just a minute after, Ball State took the lead in the 68th minute. Ohio answered back as Wilbur fired in a shot off a penalty corner that Jillian Shive tipped in.
After only taking one shot in the first half, Ohio came out strong in the second with a goal in the 38th minute by Hansen, with Wilbur, sending the ball off a penalty corner.
It was the first career goal for the freshman, as she's started the last three games and drew praise from coach Ali Johnstone last week.
"She's a natural hockey player and I’ve asked a lot of her,” she said. “Tayla stepped up to the task and has played phenomenally."
Ohio only created five chances compared to the 24 from No. 25 Ohio State, even though the Bobcats scored two of them, the Bobcats lost 5-2 in a non-conference game.
Hansen scored for the second straight game, as it continues to make an impact as she's made four starts in a row.
With a three-goal deficit in the 58th minute, Ohio had a penalty corner. Hansen found the ball off of a deflection and scored her second goal of the season.
Less than a minute after the Buckeyes (8-6, 3-3 Big Ten) scored their second goal of the game in the 21st minute, Brittany Keen responded for the Bobcats with her second goal of the season.
Nele Graner made her collegiate debut in the second half, replacing Pennington who allowed two goals while making two saves. Graner allowed a goal within two minutes of coming in, but was able to make five saves and allowed three goals.