This week in Ohio sports: Bobcats are playing strong while conference games loom on the horizon

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Just as students are getting into the heart of the school year, many Bobcat teams are reaching the heart of their schedules; but, unlike some students, most of these Ohio teams are thriving as conference play begins.

Did the good guys win?

For the most part, yes. The football team pummeled Gardner-Webb University 37-21, while the volleyball and field hockey teams both picked up big wins over conference rivals. On the other hand, the soccer team lost a close one to Toledo while the women’s golf team finished in eighth place out of twelve teams in Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational.

What does this mean for the football team?

The Bobcats picked up their first home win of the season in front of a crowd of over 22,000 fans, showing all the visiting parents that their child’s college team actually did have a chance against Tennessee last weekend. Redshirt senior Greg Windham threw for 143 yards and a touchdown while picking up 62 yards with his feet. Senior wide receiver Sebastian Smith finished with 108 yards and found the end zone twice off of six receptions. The Bobcats sit at an even 2-2 on the season as conference play begins next week.

What about the volleyball team, they’re good right?

Following their phenomenal 2015 season where they were crowned MAC Champions for the ninth time, the Bobcats have started this season with a lackluster 6-8 record. But don’t count these girls out just yet, they definitely know how to win conference games as they haven’t lost a set to a MAC opponent so far this season. The Bobcats swept the visiting Akron team in three straight sets (25-15, 25-23, 27-25) to pick up their second win over a MAC opponent. Redshirt junior Ali Lake led both teams with 17 kills; Lake has finished with double-digits kills seven times this season. This is the fourth year in a row the Bobcats have started 2-0 in conference play.

What happened with the field hockey team? 

70 minutes of play wasn’t enough for the Bobcats and the visiting Ball State Cardinals but graduate student Amelia Milton knocked in the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Bobcats a 3-2 win. Both Milton and freshman Gabby Lorenzo scored their first career goals for the Bobcats in the thrilling win. Although the score doesn’t reflect it, the Bobcats led in both shots, 14-6, and penalty corners, 11-3. Despite their struggles to capitalize off their shots, the Bobcats held on to pick up their first conference win and improve to 3-6 on the season.

Will the soccer team bounce back? 

After dropping their first conference game against Bowling Green, the Ohio women’s soccer team lost to Toledo 2-1 to fall to 2-6-1 on the season. The Bobcats couldn’t get their offense going against the physical Toledo team. Although Ohio had six shots on goal, compared to Toledo’s three, the Rockets had nine more shots and nine more corner kicks than the Bobcats, giving them more opportunities to find the back of the net. This is the fourth consecutive loss for a Bobcat team that hasn’t won a match since their 5-0 flattening of Cleveland State back on Sep. 2.

Mollie Whitacre (Maddie Schroeder | Ohio Athletics)
Senior Mollie Whitacre battles for possession  | (via Ohio Athletics)

How bad is eighth place really?

The Bobcats finished in eighth place out of twelve teams at the Mary Fossum Invitational over the weekend. Although many MAC teams were at the invitational, the Bobcats (+61) were outmatched in talent by more qualified teams like the Miami Hurricanes (-4) who demolished the completion. Despite the low finish, senior Hailey Hryenewich led the Bobcats and tied for 11th place in the tournament with a final score of seven strokes over par. To see how the rest of the Bobcats finished, check out the final standings here.

What’s going on next week?

Monday:

  • Men’s Golf host Bobcat Open in Worthington, OH

Thursday:

  • Women’s Volleyball takes on rival Miami in Oxford at 7 p.m.

Friday:

  • Men’s and Women’s Cross-Country teams compete in All-Ohio Championship in Cedarville, OH
  • Women’s Soccer face Western Michigan here in Athens at 4 p.m.
  • Women’s Field Hockey play Central Michigan at home at 5 p.m.
  • Women’s Volleyball hosts Bowling Green at 7 p.m.

Saturday:

  • Softball takes on Charleston University in a doubleheader in Athens, first game starts at 1 p.m. while the second starts at 3 p.m.
  • Football travels to Oxford to face rival Miami at 2:30 p.m.

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