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ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio field hockey team (1-0) opened the 2022 season Sunday (Aug. 28), defeating Cal (0-2), 3-1, on a hot afternoon at Pruitt Field.
“We’ve been talking all spring that defense needs to be more of a mindset of our team,” head coach Ali Johnstone said. “Not just the backfield but getting some pressure right away from our forwards. Honestly it was it was all about our forwards coming back to help, middies coming back to help and defense having that patience and working together as a unit.”
Overall, Cal outshot the Bobcats with 19 shots and seven on goal compared to Ohio’s 15 attempts and five on goal. Ohio recorded six saves and registered five corners, while Cal recorded two saves and seven penalty corners.
Individually, junior Meela Koop (Louisville, Ky.) recorded one goal and three shots, with two on goal, while freshman Mijntje Ligtenberg added a goal on three shots. Freshman Anouk Plaehn (Lower Saxony, Germany) added a goal, while senior Katelyn Whittle (Glenwood, Md.) recorded an assist on two shot attempts.
In goal, graduate student Nele Graner (Bonn, Germany) played all 60 minutes, allowing one goal and made six saves in the victory.
Cal got off to a fast start, dominating in the possession game early on. However, the Bobcats were able to make a late push in the first quarter but failed to capitalize on their two penalty corners.
Graner was the star of the show in the first half, facing two shots on goal and not allowing a goal.
In the first half, Ohio recorded six shots and had two penalty corners, while Cal recorded seven attempts and had one corner.
The Bobcats only needed 30 seconds of the second half to score their first goal of the 2022 season, with Ligtenberg registering the goal in the 31st minute, thanks to an assist from Whittle.
Cal was able to register the equalizer moments later when Sara Stone scored in the 39thth minute, knotting the match at 1-1 entering the fourth quarter.
After a very competitive first three quarters, the Bobcats were able to pull away in the fourth quarter. In the 48thminute, Plaehn scored two to out the Bobcats up 2-1. Then as the game was winding down, Koop sealed the contest with a penalty shot with 30 seconds to know, securing Ohio’s 3-1 victory.
Up next, the Bobcats are back in action Friday, Sept. 2 when they head to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take on Central Michigan in a nonconference matchup. First touch is set for 3 pm