Updated Sat, Aug 30, 2014 6:26 pm
The Ohio University field hockey team begins its season over Labor Day weekend, hosting Boston University on Sunday, Aug. 31 and Syracuse University on Monday.
The team was selected to finish fourth in the MAC preseason coaches’ poll, which was announced by the conference on Monday, Aug. 25.
The poll, voted on by the head coaches of the conference, predicts Miami University to place first, with Kent State and Central Michigan behind.
Head coach Neil Macmillan, coming into his 10th season with the Bobcats, has ambitions to make another run at the top of the conference.
“I think you’ll see the teams at the top are the ones that are going to compete for the championship," Macmillan said. "Last year we were second in our conference. We hope for greater things this year.”
The OU field hockey team finished the 2013 season with a 7-10 overall record and 3-2 record in the MAC. The schedule this season features many out-of-conferences match-ups including the season-opening slate against Boston University and Syracuse University.
“I think what we have is an out-of-conference schedule that sets us up really well for the in-conference games,” Macmillan said. “We’re challenging ourselves really well out of conference, so by the time we get in there we’re going to be battle tested and ready to go.”
The team will also play nine games at home this season. Last year, Ohio hosted only three games due to construction at Pruitt Field.
The 2014 roster features a slew of young players, with five seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen. Macmillan noted that this is the biggest class of freshmen he has brought to Ohio. Redshirt senior Lauryl Desch said the new additions will be key to competing in the MAC.
“The amount of talent we’ve got in that freshman class is going to play a huge role in getting us there,” Desch said. “I think they’re going to be very influential and young and fresh and excited to be out there and I think that’s going to really give us a spark.”
The Bobcats kick off their season at home with games against Boston University on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. and Syracuse University on Monday, Sept. 1 at 12:00 p.m.
“I’m really excited for us to play our first game and get on the field and kind of show the MAC Ohio is ready to be on the top,” Desch said.