It’s a new season and the Bobcats are ready to take the field.
Ohio’s first opponent, California, certainly poses a slew of challenges, however remains a team that it can match up with. Cal will come to Athens as the final game of a two-game road trip.
Location: Pruitt Field (Athens, Ohio)
Date: Sunday, Aug. 28
Time: 12 p.m.
Live stream can be found here
Live stats can be found here
Opponent scouting report
Cal is coming off a 10-7 season overall, with a 5-3 mark in America East play. It reached the America East Tournament, but fell to the champion, Maine.
Similar to Ohio, Cal was a middle of the road team that relied on veteran experience for the majority of its scoring. This season, both will have to pivot to younger players. The Golden Bears fell in the bottom-tier of goal scoring in the America East and failed to score more than four goals in a game.
Cal is led offensively by Megan Connors, who is entering her senior season. Connors is a well-rounded player who had four goals and four assists last season.
The issue for the Golden Bears is defense and goaltending. Cato Knipping is their only goaltender who has played a collegiate minute. Knipping is a strength for the Golden Bears. Her five shutouts tied her for first in the America East last season. Her presence in net allows for Cal the luxury of surviving with a weaker offense.
The two programs have only faced each other four times. The last matchup was eight years ago in 2014. The Golden Bears do hold the edge historically and have won three of four battles. Ohio has yet to defeat Cal at home and is 0-2 in Athens.
Players to watch
Katelyn Whittle and Noa Desmaretz — Senior Whittle and sophomore Desmaretz will be the focal points for the Bobcats. Whittle is the top returning scorer and Desmaretz had the second-most most assists in her freshman year. The duo of Whittle and Desmaretz as forwards gives the Bobcats a great advantage, but the Bobcats will need to be even-keeled with their two offensive leaders in order to beat Knipping in net.