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The Bobcats celebrate after scoring a late goal to extend the lead to 3-1, sealing the victory against conference rival Central Michigan. (FILE)

Field Hockey: Ohio routs Lock Haven 4-0 to continue hot start to season

It’s been two matches since Ohio allowed its opponent to score a goal. The Bobcats have scored seven goals in that span, and after the first two matches of the season, Ohio had been outscored 5-6 by its opponents. Now, after four matches, it’s outscoring opponents 12-6.

Ohio played its most dominant match of the season Friday and defeated Lock Haven 4-0 at Pruitt Field. The Bobcats, who have three wins in their first four matches for the first time since 2011, dominated every minute of the match; they had 19 shots overall compared to the Bald Eagles’ three. Like last week against Davidson, Ohio dominated possession time and allowed its opponent very few scoring opportunities.

The Bobcats opted to utilize many substitutions in the match to ensure the team had high energy among the hot weather, and those asked to sub in performed well.

“The ladies pushed the limit with their speed, and everybody got a touch of the ball today,” coach Ali Johnstone said.

Four different Bobcats scored, including redshirt senior Kendall Ballard’s third goal of the season with 16 minutes left in the first half. Ballard now leads the team in goals.

Ohio scored again five minutes later when redshirt sophomore Tayla Hensen scored her first goal of the season. The Bobcats led 2-0 at halftime, and were off to another quick start in the match, something in which they’ve been improving upon since last week and look to stay consistent in.

Ohio had ten penalty corners all match, while Lock Haven had only two. While the Bobcats were unable to score off of any of them, the corners were helpful in keeping the ball away from the Bald Eagles.

In the second half, things didn’t change for Ohio’s pace. Just two minutes into the third quarter, senior Karynne Baker was assisted by freshman Emma Spinetto for her first goal of the season. Seven minutes later, freshman  Katelyn Whittle scored the final goal of the match; it was Whittle’s second goal of the season.

Lock Haven found scoring opportunities late in the fourth quarter, but did not capitalize off of any of them, leaving the Bald Eagles with no goals. Ohio only needed two saves the entire match, and both were by sophomore Nele Graner.

It’s Johnstone’s second year, and this season’s 3-1 start is a big improvement over last season’s 1-3 beginning. It’s also a great record going into a three-match road stretch, which includes the beginning of conference play and a match against No. 2 Duke next week. 

Ohio (3-1) travels to Appalachian State (5-0), the first Mid-American Conference opponent of the season for the Bobcats. 

“That’s our chance to make a statement for our conference,“ Johnstone said. The match will be played on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m., in Boone, North Carolina.


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