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Ohio University Sophomore, Bodhi Littlefield (4) defends the ball from an Appalachian State player at Pruitt Field on October 28, 2022.

Field Hockey: Ohio completes epic comeback in 3-2 overtime win

Ohio (2-2, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) starts out its home slate with an electric 3-2 overtime win against Indiana (2-3). Down 2-0 early, the Bobcats fought back the entire game and prevailed in the sudden death overtime period.

The two teams entered Sunday’s matchup from different standpoints. Ohio entered 1-2 with all three games being played on the road. The Bobcats were outscored 11-6 in those games and needed a win to gain momentum. Indiana was coming off of a 2 game-winning streak, looking to continue that streak as they stepped on the field in Athens.

The first quarter was a telling sign of things to come for both teams. The Hoosiers started out the game showing off their fast-paced, aggressive offensive attack. They drew four penalty corners in the first quarter, one of which allowed forward Jemima Cookson to score the first goal of the game for the Hoosiers. Matching the amount of penalty corners was senior goalkeeper Macy Lotze, She had a stellar day and it started quickly with four saves in the opening quarter.

Indiana wasted no time following up the scoring in the second quarter with a scrappy goal from Yip van Wonderen coming off an assist from 5th-year senior Sarah Charley. Ohio proved to be resilient in this pivotal second quarter. 

Scoring for the Bobcats started with midfielder Pauline Hartlieb finding the net to score the first goal of the season for the Bobcats at Pruitt Field. Four and a half minutes before halftime, back Meela Kopp rocketed a powerful shot through the Indiana defense with the help of a Katelyn Whittle assist.

Pace of play was the story of the game for Indiana as they came out of the half continuing the breakneck speed of their offense. Ohio’s defense led by Lotze stood strong and didn’t allow a goal until eight minutes into the third quarter as Indiana broke the tie. That was not for long as the goal was overturned and the score remained gridlocked at 2-2.

The fourth quarter was more of the same for the Ohio defense. Indiana’s offensive play earned them their ninth and tenth penalty corners of the afternoon, but they couldn’t muster any goals as the stingy defense of Ohio kept them from finding the back of the net. Lotze continued her shutdown performance adding four more saves to bring her total to 14 after four quarters. In the closing minutes, the Bobcats’ final push to score was unsuccessful. 

After almost 40 minutes of goalless action, the Bobcats midfielder Noa Desmaretz received a beautiful pass from forward Sasha Dikotla and found herself one-on-one with the Hoosiers goalkeeper. Desmaretz didn’t waste the opportunity and snuck the ball between the keeper’s legs for the game-winning goal.

“It just boosts a ton of confidence. We have a really strong team and when we play as a unit we’re really powerful,” said Ohio head coach Ali Johnstone. Johnstone and Ohio look to take that confidence into Friday when they take on Ball State at 3 p.m. in Athens.

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