Ohio will go on its last road trip of the 2019 regular season when it travels north for two matches. The Bobcats will first play at Michigan State and then conference opponent Central Michigan.
Here is the information for the weekend’s matches:
Ohio’s Current Record: 5-4, 2-1 Mid-American Conference
Opponents: Michigan State | Central Michigan
Match Locations: Ralph Young Field | CMU Field Hockey Complex
Match Times: Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. | Oct. 13 at noon
Opponent’s Current Records: 5-6 | 2-11, 0-3 Mid-American Conference
What’s happened so far:
The last few matches have been rough for the Bobcats. They’ve lost three out of their last four matches and haven’t been able to score more than one goal in each of those matches.
Ohio’s defense has allowed five or more goals in four of its last five matches as well. The Bobcats are still winless against ranked teams after losing to the Buckeyes 6-1. This may have been their last chance of a victory against a ranked opponent, now that the Spartans are no longer in the Top 25.
The next two matches will be opportunities for Ohio to get back on track to how it looked earlier in the season.
While the Spartans were ranked earlier in the year, they are a much more beatable opponent compared to previously ranked teams that the Bobcats went up against. Michigan State is currently on a three-match losing streak and have a losing record as well. With their last three losses having all come from ranked teams, coach Ali Johnstone expects the Spartans to be well prepared.
“They’re a really well-coached team,” Johnstone said about Michigan State. “They’re very patient, very physical. They’re some of the top defenders in the country, and they can also break out really quickly.”
Central Michigan looks like an easier test for Ohio.
While the Chippewas started their season 2-0, they have lost their last ten matches to fall to 2-11. Central Michigan has been shut out seven times this season and has allowed its opponents to score eight or more goals three times in 2019.
Even if the Spartans prove to be too tough a match for the Bobcats, it should be expected for them to defeat the Chippewas without too much trouble.
Johnstone isn’t underestimating Sunday’s opponent, however.
“They’re a very tricky team to play against,” Johnstone said. “If you give them even the smallest opportunity, they seem to capitalize off of it.”
The match against Central Michigan will be the Bobcats’ fourth conference game of the season. They currently sit at No. 3 in the standings behind No. 1 Kent State and No. 2 Miami.