MAC Tournament Preview

By
Matthew Doyle

Dateline
Updated Sat, Oct 27, 2012 10:01 pm
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No. 1 Miami vs. No. 8 Ohio, 1 p.m.

Regular season review: Miami (16-2-1, 10-0-1 MAC) and Ohio (8-9-1, 3-6-1 MAC) end up playing each other after completing two different roads in the conference this season. Miami dominated the MAC this year, finishing the season unbeaten in the conference, while the Bobcats barely got into the tournament over a 3-7-1 Buffalo.

Season matchup result: Miami defeated Ohio, 1-0.

Player matchup to watch: Miami’s Jess Kodiak against Ohio’s Mattie Liston

Liston is one of the top goalies in the MAC with 96 saves, .821 save percentage and 5.65 saves per game. She is four saves from breaking the Ohio all-time record, but will be going up against a Miami offense that had four of the top five scorers in the MAC. Among those scoring threats is Kodiak. Kodiak finished the regular season second in the conference with 10 goals and 29 points.

Key stat for the game: Shots

The Redhawks finished second in the MAC with 325 shots, while the Bobcats only had 216. In their previous game, the Redhawks outshot the Bobcats 22-9, where Liston had nine saves. The Ohio goalie will be pressured again by the Miami attack and needs to have a similar performance if the Bobcats want to challenge the RedHawks.

 

No. 2 Central Michigan vs. No. 7 Northern Illinois, 12 p.m.

Regular season review: Central Michigan (13-5-1, 9-2-0 MAC) welcomes a Northern Illinois (8-8-2, 4-5-2 MAC) team that has lost four of their last six games. Both teams are evenly matched, but Central Michigan definitely has the offensive advantage. The Chippewas have scored 28 goals this season, while Northern Illinois has scored 20. 

Season matchup result: Central Michigan defeated Northern Illinois in overtime, 3-2.

Player matchup to watch: Central Michigan’s Stephanie Turner against Northern Illinois’ Corinne Frankenberg

The entire Huskie offense will need to step up, and they’ll look towards their top scorer this season to step her game up. Frankenberg has four goals and four assists. Her four goals have been game winners for Northern Illinois. Central Michigan’s Turner will not make it easy for the Huskies’ to score. She has only given up 11 goals this season along with nine shutouts, both of which are top in the MAC.

Key stat for the game: Corner kicks

Both teams are very even in this category. The Huskies had 80 corners this season, while Central Michigan had 78. Northern Illinois needs to pressure Turner and the Central Michigan defense in order to compete, and teams often score off corner kicks. In their overtime loss, the Huskies had four more corner kicks than the Chips.

 

No. 3 Eastern Michigan vs. No. 6 Toledo, 1 p.m.


Regular season review: Toledo (7-11-1, 5-5-1 MAC) finished the season losing three of their four games, but lost each by one goal. They also faced a very tough schedule, including against Miami and Kent State. Eastern Michigan (11-6-1, 8-3-0 MAC) has had a successful year including a win over Central Michigan and a 3-4 loss to Miami.

Season matchup result: Eastern Michigan won, 3-0.

Player matchup to watch: Toledo’s Rachel MacLeod against Eastern Michigan’s Jenna O’Dell

O’Dell has had a great year for the Eagles. With 82 saves and a .804 save percentage, O’Dell has established herself as one of the top goalies in the MAC. Not only will MacLeod need to have a big game for the Rockets, but the entire offense needs to step up if they wish to score on the Eastern Michigan defense.

Key stat for the game: Goals

Eastern Michigan has scored 29 goals this season, which is third in the MAC. Toledo, on the defensive side, is 10th in the conference with 25 goals allowed. Defense will be the game changer in this matchup, as the Rockets allowed three unanswered goals in their last matchup against Eastern Michigan.

 

No. 4 Kent State vs. No. 5 Ball State, 1 p.m.

Regular season review: Kent State (12-4-2, 7-3-1 MAC) is not a team to take lightly in the conference. They are the second highest scoring team in the conference with 35 goals and 1.94 goals per game. Ball State (8-6-5, 5-3-3 MAC) has not been as high of a scoring team with only 19 goals and has only scored four goals in their last five games. Kent State, during that time, has scored nine goals.

Season matchup result: Kent State defeated Ball State, 2-0.

Player matchup to watch: Kent State’s Jaclyn Dutton against Ball State’s Aubrey Buehler

Dutton has been tough to stop for any opponent this year in the MAC, but will be particularly tough for Ball State. Her 14 goals led the entire conference, as did her 33 points. Buehler was eighth among MAC goalies with a .770 save percentage. She’ll need to step up big time in order to stop the Golden Flash scoring attack. 

Key stat for the game: Points

Kent State has 107 points on the season. Ball State only has 53. This means that Kent State is above and beyond the Cardinals in goals and assists. Kent State is a high scoring team and will threaten the Ball State defense early and often. If the Cardinals can control the scoring, the game will be close.

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