In her last home game at Ohio University, Taylor Brown scored four goals to give the Bobcats a convincing 5-1 win over the Missouri State Bears.
Brown scored a 22-minute hat trick, while fellow senior Laura Mastro scored her first goal of the season to give the Bobcats a comfortable lead at halftime. Brown scored her fourth goal off a second successful penalty shot to ensure the ‘Cats would be victorious on Senior Day.
Ohio completely dominated the shots and penalty corner departments again. They held a 31-8 shot advantage, with 18 of those shots on target, compared to Missouri State’s eight. Brown, senior Cathryn Altdoerffer, Mastro and Luli Gomez Teruel combined for 22 shots, with 13 on target. The Bobcats held a 15-5 advantage in penalty corners.
Brittany Walker was excellent again for Ohio, making seven saves on the day. Missouri State’s Andrea Bain was kept busy on the afternoon, making an impressive 13 saves.
Head Coach Neil Macmillan spoke about the special occasion and the performance of the team.
“All of the seniors on the team are a close-knit group and it was an emotional day for them,” Macmillan said. “We played very well today.”
Ohio (8-6, 2-1 MAC) got things started early. In the fifth minute, Jessica Jue found Taylor Brown, and Brown unleashed a powerful low shot that found the bottom left corner to give the Bobcats a 1-0 early lead.
The Bobcats doubled their lead in the 21st minute. Jue found Mastro via a penalty corner, who laid the ball off for Brown, who took advantage of Bain being out of position by striking a low shot in the center of the goal.
In the 22nd minute, Brown was driving toward the goal to try and give the Bobcats a commanding lead, but she got fouled and earned a penalty shot. Bain got a hand on the ensuing penalty shot, but the high shot on the left side of the goal was too much for her to handle.
Even though they were down 3-0 early, Missouri State (4-9, 2-2 MAC) did not go away easily. In the 24th minute, Laura Tavares found Chelsey Medlock via a penalty corner, and Medlock laid the ball off for Reiann Stoute, whose powerful low drive found the right side of the net to give the Bears a little bit of hope.
In the 31st minute, Mastro quickly dashed the slim hopes the Bears had. Her goal from close range gave Ohio a 4-1 halftime lead.
With six minutes left to go, Brown stepped up for her second penalty corner. This time, she went high and to the right side of the goal to cap off her last home game at Ohio University with a memorable four-goal performance in front of the fans at Pruitt Field.
“The atmosphere was awesome today,” Brown said. “It is a great feeling to help my team win and it was definitely an emotional day.”
Macmillan was full of praise for his prolific forward.
“She not only scored the goals, but she also won us the first stroke (penalty shot) of the game,” Macmillan said. “She is great in front of goal and you have to score goals if you want to be near the top of the Ohio career rankings for goals.”
Macmillan was also pleased to have many players play in the game today.
“We are very comfortable with where we are,” Macmillan said. “We gave some players some time off, which is always nice. We have good balance and depth in the squad.”
Ohio will now hit the road for their final two games of the season. They travel to Mount Pleasant to take on Central Michigan on Friday, Oct. 19. Start time is set for 2 p.m.
Player of the Game: Taylor Brown. One of the most prolific and decorated field hockey players in Ohio history made her final home match one to remember. She showed composure to not only score from the penalty spot once, but she did it twice. Her goals will be needed if Ohio wants to play in the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season.
Missouri State Verdict: Totally outmatched by the Bobcats today. The Ohio seniors really torched their defense from start to finish. Brown and Mastro scored today, and Altdoerffer was very unlucky not to get on the score sheet. If they can win their last MAC game, they have a legitimate shot at making the MAC tournament.
Ohio Verdict: A great team performance in their final home game of the season. Brown was magnificent, the defense played well and Walker was solid in goal. They have won four of their last five games and seem to be putting everything together. If they get into the MAC tournament, they will be looked at as the favorites.