Field Hockey: Ohio looks to bounce back against Ball State, improve offense

The Bobcats have scored 16 goals in seven games this season. They only scored 20 goals total in 2014.

Ohio’s improvement on offense has shown early on, but as Ohio heads to Muncie, Indiana to play Ball State (1-7) on Saturday, they look to improve even more on the offensive end, particularly in the midfield.

“We’ll definitely try to improve working the ball up the midfield, get the ball and play more offensive, especially against Ball State,” sophomore Elena Curley said.  “The more we can get the ball from our back through the midfield to the forwards, the more offensive we can be.”

Curley has been a key cog in the Bobcats’ offense, scoring two goals this season.

Although the Cardinals have only won one game during their 2015 campaign, the Bobcats are not underestimating them, per coach Neil Macmillan.  The match will not count in Mid-American Conference play, but Macmillan said he is still preparing Ohio like its match-up with Ball State will count towards its conference record.

In terms of the MAC, the teams with the top-four conference records will advance to the MAC tournament.

“I think it’s always very important for that first match-up,” Macmillan said. “It’s actually good going into this match knowing we’re not going to count this in the MAC standings because we can see where we are against a team.”

Macmillan mentioned the Bobcats (3-4) have watched only bits of tape on the Cardinals, though he knows Ball State coach Sally Northcroft will orient the team differently than last year’s coach, Beth Maddox.

“We’ve been watching all the film we can on them, so we’ve got a good idea from that,” Macmillan said.  “But it’s never the same as being down there on the field, and seeing things that go on during a game day.”

The Bobcats haven’t been consistent in terms of winning games, but senior Clarissa Leickly said she believes the Bobcats’ winning percentage can change over conference play.

“I think the effort is definitely there, and against Ohio State we had effort for the whole game,” Leickly said. “If we keep up the effort against our next few games, I think we’ll have a lot of wins out of it.”

As the Bobcats look to garner their fourth win of the season, Macmillan said Ohio is looking to improve its time of possession.

“Possession wasn’t great, especially in the second half against Ohio State,” Macmillan said. “That is something that is going to cost you long term if you can’t organize that very well. We need to look at where our forward movement was and why that was the case.


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