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Ohio University’s MF Emma Spinetto (7) aims to hit the ball away from Ohio State’s MF Genevieve Penzone (5) at Pruitt Field on Sunday, Oct. 6 2019.

Field Hockey: Ohio falls 1-0 in defensive battle against Michigan State

Defense has been a problem all season for Ohio, as they have allowed 3.33 goals per match heading into their game against Michigan State.

Friday, however, was a different story for Ohio. It held Michigan State to only one goal, but it was all the Spartans needed to beat the Bobcats 1-0 in East Lansing, Michigan. 

The Bobcats offense was shutout for the second time this season despite outshooting the Spartans 18-8. Ohio (5-5, 2-1 MAC) has failed to score more than one goal in four of its last five matches.

The defense showed up for the Bobcats today, and only allowed the Spartans to total eight shots. Before Friday, Ohio had struggled on defense and allowed 24 goals in its previous five matches.

The lone goal of the match came with five minutes left in the first quarter when Kelsey Keener found the back of the cage for her first goal of the season. While Ohio controlled the tempo for the majority of the match, the third quarter is where its offense had its best opportunities, outshooting Michigan State 7-2.

In the match’s final seconds, Ohio had a chance to tie and force overtime, but Leah Warren’s shot was just wide of the goal.

Ohio’s defensive play from the second quarter through the end of the match was a great sign of improvement, however, and it only allowed six shots from Michigan State in the final half. The Bobcats will look to build of that defensive performance for their final five matches of the regular season.

The Spartans defense had struggled their previous three matches, where they allowed 17 combined goals. While Ohio had its chances, Michigan State kept the damage to a minimum. This match marked the second straight loss for the Bobcats and their fourth loss in their last five matches. 

Ohio hopes to get back on track with its next match against MAC foe Central Michigan (2-11, 0-3 MAC). This will be Ohio’s last regular season road match of the year. It will begin at noon on Oct. 13.  

@Willshep13

ws905818@ohio.edu

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