Ohio University freshman Sophia Cristofoli keeps the ball away from Appalachian State University sophomore Taylor Cimbalist during a game Sept. 13. Ohio University won 4-0.
For Ohio, yet another split weekend could loom ahead.
As the Bobcats (5-5) prepare to play their second Mid-American Conference opponent in Missouri State (3-9), and third Big Ten opponent in Michigan State (4-8), coach Neil Macmillan said this weekend will be similar to previous they have played.
“I think it’s a very similar weekend in that we got the MAC game first on the Friday, and a Big Ten opponent,” Macmillan said.
The Bobcats are 1-0 against the MAC this season, picking up a 3-1 win against the Chippewas last weekend. Senior Adele Sammons said if Ohio can get its MAC record high, it would boost confidence.
“I mean we’re not looking to lose any games in the MAC this year,” Sammons said. “We’re hoping to win it all, and I think we have the potential to do that.”
Though the Bobcats have had success in the MAC, they’ve come up short against Big Ten teams this season — losing to the Buckeyes, 3-2, and the Scarlet Knights, 2-1.
Macmillan said since Michigan State (4-8) beat Rutgers (5-4) in double overtime, the teams are fairly equal. Although Ohio is 0-2 against the Big Ten, Hannah Kingsbury and Sammons said the team gets “fired up” for games against Big Ten teams.
“We get fired up for games like that because it’s kind of like knocking off someone that’s considered better than you, especially with it being on our home field, it’s always great to take down a team like Michigan State in the Big Ten,” Kingsbury said.
Sammons had similar feelings toward playing Big Ten opponents.
“Playing a Big Ten team, we always have something to prove, so if we play as well as we did on Sunday, I think we’ll be good to go,” Sammons said.
As the team progresses through the latter half of the season, they are looking to capitalize on more opportunities and harder opponents — a mark this weekend could symbolize.
“We’ve been great in terms of competing, but we need to win more,” Macmillan said. “We’re close but you have to win some of these games, and I think that’s the next stride for this team — to get over that metaphoric hump and get a win.”