Ohio has been in peculiar situations the last couple of weekends. It was down at halftime against Appalachian State and won. It was down at halftime to No. 2 Duke but ultimately couldn’t win.
This weekend, it was much of the same in the Bobcats’ 5-1 loss to its Mid-American Conference rival, Kent State.
Ohio (4-3, 1-1 MAC) knew how important this match would be in setting the tone for the rest of the season and the thin talent gap among the conference.
“The MAC right now is wide open, and every team is battling really hard,“ coach Ali Johnstone said. “I need (the team) to be really focused and push the limit on themselves physically.”
Kent State controlled the tempo the whole game. The Bobcats had a tough time getting the offense going, and they were outshot 27-9. The Golden Flashes also had an advantage in penalty corner opportunities, with 15 compared to Ohio’s five.
This was the third straight game Ohio has allowed five or more goals. Before this stretch, it did not allow five goals in a single match all season.
Kent State scored its first goal in the first four minutes of the match, and as a result, held control throughout the game. The Golden Flashes scored again three minutes later off a penalty corner. Katelyn Whittle scored Ohio’s lone goal with three minutes left in the first quarter. It was the freshman’s third goal of the season.
After a scoreless third quarter, in which the Bobcats did not get a shot off, Kent State pulled away in the fourth quarter and scored two goals.
Ohio has lost two straight games for the first time all season. This game also finished a three game road trip, which ended in a disappointing 1-2 record.
The Bobcats will look to get back on track Saturday when they face Longwood (4-4, 1-0 MAC) in their third MAC match of the season. They will also face No. 14 Ohio State (4-4) Oct. 6
Both games are at home and start at noon and 2 p.m., respectively.