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Bodhi Littlefield (4) Back on Ohio University's Feild Hockey team looks to advance the ball at Pruitt Field in Athens, OH on Sept. 29, 2023.

Field Hockey: Ohio defeats Bellarmine 8-2, clinches spot in MAC Tournament

Despite the rainy conditions, Ohio (6-7 overall, 4-2 MAC) dominated Bellarmine (7-8 overall, 3-3 MAC) on Senior Day, winning with a score of 8-2. With this victory, Ohio propels itself into the Mid-American Conference tournament for the first time since 2021. 

It was a big day for the seniors today, as all eight of the team's goals were scored by seniors. Ohio's midfielder, Weslee Littlefield, scored the first and second goals of her field hockey career. Ohio's forward, Katelyn Whittle, once again performed in dominating fashion, as she scored five goals on only six shots. Whittle also had two assists along with her five goals. Ohio's goalkeeper, Macy Lotze, also had an outstanding day which included seven saves in the net. Senior back Meera Kopp also scored a goal for Ohio in the second quarter.

As a team, Ohio played very well in the match, having 18 shots, 10 of which were on goal and converting eight of them into goals. Ohio also had eight saves as a team and had six penalty corners. The Bobcats got out to a fast start, scoring a goal 3 minutes, 19 seconds into the first quarter and another one came at 7 minutes, 34 seconds, both courtesy of Whittle. This quick start allowed Ohio to outpace Bellarmine for the rest of the game, with the team scoring at least one goal in every quarter.

Ohio’s goals were partially created by two assists from Whittle, forward Sasha Dikotla, back Anouk Plaehn, and one assist from Littlefield. With Friday being Ohio’s last home match and senior night, the team showed out and proved that it was ready to take on the best of the MAC in the Conference tournament.

With Whittle's massive five-goal performance this game, Ohio head coach Ali Johnstone was very proud. 

"Oh, I mean, some of Caitlin's (goals) were ridiculous today,” Coach Johnstone said. 

Coach Johnstone also praised Littlefield's performance, as she scored her first two goals during this matchup.

"I mean, they're such are great bunch and I think it was Wes's first career goals,” Coach Johnstone said. “So that is so awesome." 

Johnstone also touched on the development Littlefield has gone through since her freshman season.

"In her freshman year she started in the back and then she moved up to the mid and then we put her on the forward line,” Coach Johnstone said. “So she's been fighting her way through so it was really fun to see that.”

With Ohio also clinching a MAC tournament spot, Whittle has a plan on how the team can prepare.

"It was amazing (to clinch a spot in the MAC tournament),“ Whittle said. “I think that definitely relieves a bit of pressure going into next week. (We’ll) definitely use what we learned in this game and take that to next weekend into the MAC tournament."

Ohio only has two more matches left on the season, both away, against Appalachian State and Davidson. The Bobcats are looking for victories in both of those matches before entering the postseason.

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