[Hailey Hollinger | WOUB]

Ohio Field Hockey earns back-to-back wins in shut out against Saint Francis

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Ohio Bobcats (7-7) ended their five-game losing streak against Central Michigan and continued gaining momentum against the Saint Francis Red Flashes (4-11).  

Ohio brought home back-to-back wins when they beat Saint Francis 2-0.  

The Bobcat’s confidence was seen right away in the first quarter. Just one minute and 26 seconds into the first, Sasha Dikotla had possession of the ball and found an open spot-on net and scored to put Ohio up 1-0.  

Dikotla did not let up after she scored the first goal of the game, she was still hungry for more.  During off ball movement and tackling back, Dikotla was always ready for the next play to happen.  

“She was on their endline and then making a tackle back here, 75 yards away. And that effort is nuts, that’s what wins games,” head coach Ali Johnstone said.      

The Bobcats continued to pepper away shots in the first half against goalie, Chloe South, but none found the back of the net.  

One shot hit the post and deflected off, and then the play resulted in a corner for Ohio. However, the Bobcats could not pull out a good play to get past the Red Flashes’ defense and past South. Ohio had two penalty corners in the second quarter, but their attempts were not fooling Saint Francis.   

On the other end, Macy Lotze was unstoppable for the Bobcats. She had three huge blocks, which helped her secure a shutout against St. Francis. Lotze knew that Eva Valentini had a wicked shot and used this knowledge for her advantage.   

Lotze noticed that Valentini likes to “come out on corners and angles and where that player likes to aim,” Johnstone said. “She took it, and she was solid back there.”  

Both teams tried to find a chance to score in the second half, but nothing was going in. The Red Flashes were getting frustrated in the third quarter, since they could not get anything past Lotze.  

With a little bit over 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Mijntje Ligtenberg trapped the ball on the endline before passing it to Bodhi Littlefield, so that she could score. It was Littlefield’s first goal of the season and she felt good, but she could not take all the appreciation.    

“I mean I have great teammates surrounding me and it makes it pretty easy to find the back of the net,” Bodhi Littlefield said.   

Coach Johnstone was very proud of Littlefield, since last year she was a midfielder; however, a player went down in the back field, so Littlefield stepped up.  

After she stepped up, the team noticed how amazing of a back she is because she plays aggressive and has the skill set.    

“She gets a little nervous every once and awhile, but she’s been working hard on that movement and it was fantastic,” Johnstone said. “She’s an attacking minded player, but she’s really strong back.” 

Despite the 2-0 win over Saint Francis, there is still some improvements the team needs to make before facing off against Bellarmine Knights in a MAC game.   

Johnstone believes the connectivity and the passing is something that needs to be improved on.   

“The movement in our pocket to go forward and not always go backwards and having the confidence to get in that little space for our middies,” Johnstone said.  

The Bobcats game against the Knights is set for Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.