No. 4 Ohio travels to Oxford on Friday to take on No. 1 seed Miami in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The match is make-or-break for Ohio, as a win will give it a ticket to the MAC Championship, but a loss would cut the season short and send Ohio home early.
The winner of the match will go on to face the winner of No. 2 Kent State vs. No. 3 Longwood.
Here is the information for the match:
Ohio’s current record: 7-11 (4-3 MAC)
Opponent: No. 1 Miami (9-10, 6-1 MAC)
Match Location: Miami Field Hockey Complex
Match Date: Nov. 5 at 11:30 am
What’s happened so far:
Ohio secured its spot in the tournament this past Saturday in its 5-2 victory over No. 3 seed Longwood. Coming off the win, Ohio should be fired up and ready to give Miami a run for its money in the opening match of the tournament.
This season, Ohio narrowly lost a 4-3 match against Miami in double overtime. Though Ohio held its own in the match, it has not beaten Miami since 2013. On Friday, the Bobcats not only have a chance to move one step closer to the MAC Championship, but they also have the opportunity to make a statement: beating Miami for the first time in eight years.
This is the most important match of the season to date for both teams. It will determine the fate of each team’s season, inevitably sending one team packing.
Although Miami is the No. 1 seed, Ohio should not be counted out. The last match between the two teams lasted 73 minutes. Ohio has also had much practice in overtime as five of its regular-season matches have resulted in at least one extra period.
Miami is coming off a two-match win streak, with one of those victories being over Ohio. Not only this, but six of the RedHawks’ nine wins were shutouts of their opponents. If the Bobcats want to win, they will need to develop a strategy to beat the RedHawks’ impressive defensive play and ball control.
Aside from Miami’s gameplay, the team also has the advantage of playing on its home field. With the excess amount of RedHawks fans in the stands to be expected, the Bobcats must be sure to not get discouraged by the crowd and find ways to disrupt the energy their opponent will have from their home-field advantage.