Bobcats Lose 3-2 to Buckeyes in State Field Hockey Battle

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An early defensive battle on Sunday ended in a 3-2 loss for Ohio field hockey in their battle for state bragging rights with Ohio State.

After a week without a game, the Bobcats (3-4, 0-0) battled the Buckeyes in Columbus. The Bobcats got off to a hot start as Clarissa Leickly netted her third goal of the season almost seven minutes into the game to give her team a 1-0 lead.

The Bobcats dominated offensively in the first half, recording 10 first half shots compared to Ohio State’s four.

“We scored on two of our six corners, so we did a good job with our execution on those,” Coach Neil Macillan said. “We were the better team in the first half.”

Peanut Johnson struck first for Ohio State with an unassisted goal at the 23rd-minute mark of the first half. Just under six minutes later, the Bobcats’ Maria Russell scored her team-high fifth goal of the season to put the Bobcats up 2-1 going into halftime.

The second half saw virtually no offensive production from the Bobcats. Ohio State shot six times to the Bobcats’ one shot, and the Buckeyes tied the game up at 39:30 on an Emma Royce goal. Royce was assisted by Caroline Rath and Johnson.

The ‘Cats could not keep the Buckeyes out of their end of the field in the second half, but performed well defensively with backs against the wall.

“They put us under a lot of pressure,” Macmillan said. “When you lose a player to a card, you have to reorganize, and we did a good job of that. I’m pretty happy with how we set ourselves up, but in the end it just wasn’t enough.”

Johnson put Ohio State ahead in the 63rd minute with another unassisted goal.

Ohio had a chance to tie the game on a penalty corner as time expired, but an attempt from Kendall Ballard flew just to the right of the post.

Despite a tough loss, Macmillan had positive takeaways from the game.

“We were really on top of them in the first half, and we’re a better team than what we showed in the second.” Macmillan said. “We’re competing with the Big Ten, and that’s excellent for a school like ours.”

The Bobcats continue their road stretch on Saturday at noon when they face MAC foe Ball State.