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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’s season ends with MAC tournament loss to Miami (OH)

Ohio (6-10 overall, 4-3 Mid-American Conference) saw its season end in Oxford on Friday to rival Miami (13-7 overall, 6-1 Mid-American Conference).

Ohio was able to get into the MAC tournament as the final seed, being matched up against the No. 1 seed Miami (OH). The Bobcats played Miami in the regular season and weren’t able to pull out the win at home during Homecoming weekend, losing 3-1. This time, Ohio had to travel to Oxford and beat the best team in the MAC to move on. It was a daunting challenge that the Bobcats could not complete, losing 1-0.

The whole game was a defensive struggle for both teams. The first quarter was no different and set the tone for the rest of the game. Macy Lotze showed up early for Ohio in the first quarter, blocking one of Miami’s two shots in the opening quarter. The Bobcat offense was unable to get anything going in the first 15 minutes as they didn’t log a shot on Miami to open the game. This is not the norm for an Ohio who has offensive weapons like Katelyn Whittle, Pauline Hartlieb and Meela Kopp. Miami’s two shots in the opening quarter weren’t much better, and the game was tied at 0-0 entering the second quarter.

Offensive play didn’t pick up by much in the second frame of action in the battle of the bricks. Ohio was able to get its first shot up on the Miami defense but to no avail, as the shot was blocked and the Bobcats remained scoreless. Miami added three more shots but Lotze stepped up again, saving two of Miami’s shot attempts and ultimately keeping the game scoreless and gridlocked at 0-0 going into halftime. The first-half stats for both teams included zero combined penalty corners and six total shots, three of them being saved by Lotze.

The second half opened up and followed the same trends as the first. The defense was again the story early in the third quarter as both offenses got up early shots that ended up being blocked. Around halfway through the quarter, Ohio was able to earn the game’s first penalty corner. The ball ended up in Katelyn Whittle’s stick, and the best chance to score for Ohio had presented itself. Whittle delivered a pass to Kopp but her shot was saved and the best opportunity of the game for Ohio had come and went. Lotze continued her defensive masterclass as she had a total of six saved shots for Ohio in the third quarter alone. Stopping the Redhawk offense and keeping the game tied at 0-0 going into the final frame. 

It came down to 15 minutes to decide who was moving on in the MAC tournament, and it was paramount for both squads to break the tie and score the first goal of the game. Unfortunately for Ohio, Miami would score the game’s first and only goal with under five minutes gone in the final quarter. Miami’s leading scorer, Claudia Negrete-Garcia found the ball in her stick on a penalty corner and didn’t waste her chance to score a game-changing goal for the Redhawks. Ohio was unable to get a shot up in the final quarter, and as the clock hit triple zeros, the scoreboard read 1-0 in favor of Miami, ending the Bobcat’s season.

The season didn’t end the way Ohio wanted it to, and Ohio unfortunately wasn't able to make it far in the MAC tournament. Ohio still has plenty of young talent and a head coach who found her stride this year, winning Co-Coach of the Year. Ohio will be back amongst the conference’s best soon, but it is still a disappointing end to a season that saw many highs. 


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