The Mid-American Conference Tournament has begun, and Ohio is the third seed after completing the program’s most successful season since 2011.
Ohio was awarded a bye for the first round and is set to play Appalachian State in the second round.
Here is the information for the match:
Ohio’s Current Record: 8-7 overall, 4-2 MAC
Opponents: Appalachian State (9-8, 1-5 MAC)
Match Location: Miami University Field Hockey Field
Match Date: Nov. 7 at 1:30
What’s Happened so far:
Ohio played Appalachian State earlier in the season, which resulted in a 6-5 victory for Ohio. The Bobcats erased a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to earn the victory. That win was the first of four MAC wins for the improved Bobcats.
Ohio’s match against Appalachian State will be the first time it faces an opponent twice this season. Both teams have a sense of familiarity between each other and its play styles.
The story recently for Ohio is its improved defense towards the end of the year. In its last six matches, Ohio has only allowed seven goals. To win, the Bobcats will need to communicate on defense, which has been one factor players and coaches have attributed to the defense’s improvement.
The Mountaineers have struggled on offense this season, as they only scored 1.59 goals per match. Ohio has to take advantage of the weak offense and control the tempo.
“We are doing the best we can to scout where they are now to where they were earlier in the season,” coach Ali Johnstone said. “We will find things where we can improve and keep scouting them as much as we can.”
Appalachian State’s record is deceiving. Mountaineers have played multiple close matches and have boasted a quality defense which has only allowed 1.71 goals per match. It defeated Central Michigan in the first round on Wednesday 2-0.
The Bobcats will have the advantage of being well-rested heading into the matchup after they had the last week of the regular season off. Since they did not know who their opponent would be in their first match of the tournament, the Bobcats focused on themselves during this time.
“We are focusing on ourselves and all the things we need to improve,” Johnstone said. “It gives us quite a few days to focus on all our things we need to improve on.”
If Ohio wins, it will face Miami on Nov. 8th in the semifinals.