Ohio’s regular season came to a close over the weekend as it lost to No. 3 Duke, 4-0, and then again to Miami, 5-0.
The Bobcats’ losing streak reached seven games as they preparefor the Mid-American Conference Tournament this week. Ohio (4-11, 2-4 MAC) will be the fifth seed in the tournament and will face Ball State, which it lost to 3-2 in double overtime Oct. 5.
Facing two of the top attacks in the country, Ohio’s defense showed that it can stop the opposition, but not when it is constantly under pressure.
Here are four observations from the weekend for the four wins Ohio has had this season:
Poor first half
Ohio has given up 18 goals in the first half while only scoring 9. The Bobcats struggle to find success at the start of games. The Bobcats are spending most of the first 35 minutes in their own shooting circle defending the opposition.
As games go on and Ohio has the opportunity to sit down at halftime to make changes, its attack has improved with 12 second-half goals. More goals have been allowed in the second half, 25, but Ohio has been better attacking, which results in open opportunities the top teams are able to take advantage of.
Struggling to pass
Even when Ohio was able to have possession and have a moment of relief, it would pass the ball just out of the reach of a teammate leading to a turnover.
It made the ball stay in Ohio’s own half and was a main cause of Ohio struggling to maintain possession.
Additionally, it kept the pressure on the Ohio defense.
When Ohio won three straight games in September, it was mainly because the Bobcats connected on passes creating attacking opportunities and limiting opportunities for opposing teams.
Transitioning from defense to attack
When Ohio gets the ball, it needs to be able to transition from defense to attacking mode to take advantage of the limited opportunities the Bobcats have.
That didn’t happen over the weekend. Ohio struggled to pass, so there was very little attack. The Bobcats had a total of five shots over the weekend. It was the first time all season Ohio was held scoreless in two straight games.
With Ohio struggling to transition the ball out of its defense, it meant that the ball was staying in its own half, making it easier for the opponent to get shots on goal.
Confidence despite losing streak
Losing seven straight games could make a team have little confidence in their ability to win, but Ohio still believes it can win games.
That comes from the Bobcats losing three conference games by one goal each, in which Ohio was the better team statistically.
In each of those games, the attack provided enough opportunities for the Bobcats, but they failed to convert on those. The defense limited the goal scoring chances for opponents, but the ones that it allows are easy opportunities to score on.