Ohio will finish off the 2019 regular season with two home matches Friday and Saturday. The weekend will begin with its last Mid-American Conference match of the season when it hosts Miami, followed by a match against UC Davis on Saturday.
Here is the information for this weekend’s matches:
Ohio’s Current Record: 8-5 overall, 4-1 MAC
Opponents: Miami (8-7, 3-1 MAC) | UC Davis (6-7)
Match Location: Pruitt Field
Match Dates: Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. | Oct. 26 at noon
What’s Happened so far:
The Bobcats are currently on a three-match win streak, including an impressive 2-1 overtime victory against the Hoosiers on Sunday. These matches were helpful for Ohio to re-gain confidence after losing to four out of five previous opponents before the win streak.
Ohio’s defense has been nothing short of stellar ever since it allowed six goals to Ohio State on Oct. 6. In the past four matches, the Bobcats haven’t allowed an opponent to score more than one goal, and they have shown the ability to not crack under pressure when their opponent is in scoring position. Prior to that, Ohio was allowing an average of 3.33 goals per match.
The match against Miami has heavy implications for seeding in the MAC Tournament that begins in less than two weeks. Ohio currently holds the second seed, but a loss on Friday will allow Miami to jump to that spot while Ohio will drop down to the third seed.
The Redhawks are a respectable opponent. Like the Bobcats, their only conference loss of the season thus far was to the Golden Flashes, who are likely to go undefeated in conference play.
To some, the match against Miami may carry more significance than usual for Ohio. The last time the Bobcats defeated the rival was in the 2013 regular season, and they fell to the Redhawks twice in 2018, including in the MAC tournament semifinals. Coach Ali Johnstone, however, is viewing Miami the same as she views any other conference opponent.
“It’s another game, and we’re going to prepare in the same way,” Johnstone said. “If we alter our preparation, it messes with your mind. So, we’re just preparing as much as we would for any other MAC game.”
While the Aggies’ 6-7 record may display them as a mediocre team, they should not be taken lightly. Five of their seven losses have come against ranked teams, and the Aggies also boast an impressive defense that has yet to allow more than three goals in a match.
“We’re not underestimating them at all,” Johnstone said. “We played them last year, and it was a one goal difference. Britt (Broady) has completely changed that program around. We’re ranked head to head in RPI, so it’s going to be a huge battle.”
Johnstone knows that the back to back matches will be tough on her team, but the Bobcats are looking for a strong closing to their most successful regular season since 2011.