(KAITLIN OWENS | FILE)
As Ohio University’s field hockey team prepared for practice Tuesday, coach Neil Macmillan expressed strong determination for the upcoming season.
“We have high expectations. We really feel that we’re in a great place after preseason,” Macmillan said.
He said he believes his team will be competitive in the Mid-American Conference this upcoming season, as last year the Bobcats went 6-11 — good enough for a fourth place finish in the MAC.
The Bobcats were relatively strong inside the circle last season, allowing 2.41 goals per game. Senior Adele Sammons said she believes quality will stay with the Bobcats this year.
“I think in practice we work really hard with our goalkeepers, especially in terms of communication,” Sammons said.
Sammons also mentioned that keeping many of the same defenders over multiple seasons has helped with communication and team chemistry.
Though Ohio averaged just 1.06 goals per game last season, senior Clarissa Leickly said the team will have a redemptive year on the offensive end.
“Our offense is very fast. Our goal is to run around our opponents and use our speed against them,” Leickly said. “We have probably the fastest team since I’ve been here, so I’m pretty excited to see what they do.”
Along with striving to score more points, Leickly said the Bobcats are looking to improve on penalty corners — shots taken when a team breaks a rule in the penalty circle.
“We watch a lot of video on penalty corners to see what we can improve on,” Leickly said. “We also watch the other team’s videos to see where we need to place ourselves defensively to be successful.”
In the past seven years, the Bobcats have won four MAC Championships, including a trip to last season’s championship against Kent State. The Bobcats would go on to lose 2-0.
With the offense looking to break out, however, the 2015 Bobcats expect nothing short of another trip to a MAC Championship.
“We don’t go into any game with the feeling that we’re going to come out on the wrong side of the game,” Macmillan said. “We feel we can have an extremely high success rate this season.”