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Sophomore defender Leah Warren passes the ball up the sideline during Ohio's 3-1 victory over Central Michigan on Sept. 23.

Field Hockey: Attack leads Ohio past Ball State into semifinals of MAC tourney

Ohio’s attack dominated Ball State in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference on Thursday. The Bobcats won 4-0. 

Ohio had confidence that it would avenge its regular season loss to Ball State, which went into double overtime. Junior Brittany Keen promised a different score line than that game.

The Bobcats’ attack was active early. It had four shots in the first nine minutes; the last one resulted in a goal by Jillian Shive. Shive collected the ball in the middle of the shooting circle and shot it past the onrushing Cardinals goalie for her 10th goal of the season.

The win gave Ohio its first in the MAC tournament since 2014. It was also the biggest goal differential in the MAC Tournament since 2010, when the Bobcats beat Ball State 5-0 when current head coach Ali Johnstone was an assistant. 

The Bobcats came into the game on a seven-game losing streak, but they were confident that the problems they had could be fixed.

All four Ohio goals were scored in the first half. The Bobcats were able to exploit the spaces in the Ball State defense to create chances. 

The second and third goals were scored off penalty corners. Ashley Wilbur fired a shot from the edge of the shooting circle in for her first collegiate goal and Shive added her second, redirecting a ball shot by Leah Warren. 

Fewer than three minutes after Shive’s goal, the scoring was finished as Emma Spinetto dribbled through the defense in the shooting circle before firing the ball at the goal. Karynne Baker redirecting the ball in front of the Ball State goalie. It was the sixth goal of the season for Baker, and it was her first in four games. 

The attack helped keep the ball out of the Ohio half and limit Ball State to only three shots. Alex Pennington only needed to make one save.

Ohio moves on to a Friday match with No.25 Miami at 11:30 a.m. in the semifinals. The teams met four days ago in the regular season finale, with the RedHawks winning 5-0 and only allowing one shot for the Bobcats. 


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