Sept. 21, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State field hockey team defended its home turf Friday afternoon, upsetting No. 10 Northwestern, 3-2, at Buckeye Varsity Field. After the Wildcats (8-2, 0-1 Big Ten) scored an early goal, the Buckeyes (6-3, 1-0 Big Ten) tallied two goals in the first half and followed with a third score late in the second to claim the victory.
Ohio State has now won four-consecutive games and jumps to the top of the standings to begin the conference schedule. The OSU win snaps a six-game unbeaten streak for the Wildcats. The Buckeye backfield played solid throughout the entire contest, limiting Northwestern to eight shots, who came into the game ranked in the Top 10 nationally in scoring average and goals per game.
"Our team defense was the difference today," head coach Anne Wilkinson said. "We were able to shut them down early and the preparation by our players was great heading into the game. Northwestern has a strong offensive attack. This is a great win to start the conference schedule and we will need to continue our momentum Sunday vs. Missouri State."
Offensively, senior captain Berta Queralt led the charge with three points on a goal and an assist, while fellow captain Danica Deckard scored a goal. Sophomore back Kaitlyn Wagner scored her first career goal and was assisted by junior Maria Swartz, who earned her first career point. Sophomore Mona Frommhold collected a point as well with a helper.
In the first half, Northwestern struck first when senior forward Chelsea Armstrong scored from the top of the circle off a corner with assists coming from Julia Retzky and Lisa McCarthy at 2:54.
Both teams then battled back and forth for possession for the next 17 minutes until the Buckeyes answered with an unassisted score at 19:39 by Queralt - her third of the season. Queralt blasted a shot on goal and was able to get the rebound and put it into the back of the right side of the cage to tie it, 1-1.
Ten minutes later, the OSU offense was on the attack once again at 28:22 when Wagner slapped a shot from the right side of the circle following a reverse pass by Swartz to give the team the 2-1 lead. Ohio State held a 6-3 lead in shots and a 3-2 advantage in corners in the first 35 minutes.
In the second half, both teams continued to battle up and down the turf, keeping the score 2-1 until the final five minutes of regulation. After Northwestern pulled its goalkeeper with 6:22 remaining, the Buckeyes took advantage and were able to gain a corner with the empty net. Deckard fired a goal from the top of the circle off the set-piece at 66:39 to extend the lead to 3-1.
Although Armstrong was able to cut the Wildcat's deficit to 3-2 a minute later, the Buckeyes were able to gain the final possession and earn one last corner as time expired to claim the win.
Junior goalkeeper Emma Voelker improves to 6-3 overall, posting three saves. Overall, Ohio State outshot Northwestern 12-8 and had a 6-4 lead in penalty corners. The team is now 3-1 vs. ranked opponents and 2-1 at home in 2012.
The Buckeyes are back in action at Noon Sunday vs. Missouri State.