Coming off a devastating overtime loss to Mid-American Conference rival Miami, Ohio looked to cap a solid regular season with a win against UC Davis.
On a rainy afternoon at Pruitt Field, UC Davis defeated Ohio 2-1 and soured the Bobcats’ Senior Day. Ohio (8-7, 4-2 MAC) looked fatigue following its overtime match to Miami, yet it still outshot UC Davis 15-11.
The defense for the Bobcats continued its strong play to finish the season, and it only allowed seven goals in its last six matches. The offense, however, struggled against the Aggies and only recorded one goal from its nine shots on goal.
The Aggies scored first with two minutes left in the first quarter when Audrey Matthew scored an unassisted goal. The goal seemed to set the tone for the rest of the match.
UC Davis built a 2-0 lead when it scored off a penalty corner with eight minutes left in the first half. The Aggies had four penalty corner opportunities within a minute, a stretch that defined the first half. The Bobcats allowed seven penalty corners in the first half and nine overall. The goal also marked four straight unanswered goals given up by Ohio.
In the third quarter, Ohio came out with heightened intensity and controlled the ball for a majority of the quarter. The Bobcats outshot the Aggies 8-0 in this span, but had nothing to show for their quality play.
After a scoreless third quarter, Ohio scored its first goal of the match with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Redshirt senior Kendall Ballard scored off of a penalty corner. It was her eighth goal of the year. The goal was assisted by senior Brittany Keen.
“The drag was perfect,” coach Ali Johnstone said. “Kendall crushed it. It was awesome.”
While the day was special for the seniors, it was also special for Johnstone as she coached against one of her former players at Northwestern, Dominique Masters, who is currently an assistant coach on UC Davis.
“Field hockey is a really small community,” Johnstone said. “To see her grow up and make an impact on another team is awesome.”
While the Bobcats are off next week, they will be preparing for the MAC tournament. They have secured the third seed in the tournament, and the next match will be Nov. 7. Their opponent is undetermined.