Junior Danica Deckard
Sept. 23, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - On a rainy Friday afternoon, the Ohio State field hockey team upset No. 11 Michigan, 2-1, in thrilling fashion as junior Danica Deckardscored both goals, including the gamewinner in the final moments of regulation at Buckeye Varsity Field. The win for the Buckeyes (5-5; 1-0 Big Ten) over the Wolverines (6-3, 0-1 Big Ten) marks the first victory against a ranked opponent this season.
With 1:32 remaining in a gritty game with two conference rivals, Deckard, a native of Selinsgrove, Pa., blasted a slap shot from the top of the circle into the back of the cage to claim the win for the Scarlet and Gray and snap Michigan's four-game win streak. The goal started from a penalty corner with assists from junior back Laura Napolitano and junior forward Berta Queralt. It seemed fitting as the three-member junior class was featured on the gameday program cover.
"I thought we did a great job today of stretching the field," head coach Anne Wilkinsonsaid. "We were able to shut down their counterattack throughout the game and it started with our forwards against their backline. Danica came up big for us and she can really put some heat on the ball. This says a lot about our program and shows that we can compete with anyone in the country."
The game was broadcasted by the Big Ten Network on tape-delayed basis and will air at noon Sunday.
The Buckeyes have now won four out of the last five meetings against Michigan. The last eight games between the two teams have been decided by a one-goal margin. With her stellar performance, Deckard ties her career high in points in a game with four. The Buckeye forward has scored goals four times this season.
In the first half, Deckard got the Buckeyes off to a great start when she scored at 30:42 from the left side of the circle. Deckard connected on a slap shot into the back right of the cage following a nice through pass by sophomore midfielder Arielle Cowie. The shot was Deckard's third chance in a three-minute span as the Ohio State offense found a groove early on against the Maize and Blue. Cowie's assist is the first point this season for the second-year Buckeye.
Michigan rebounded quickly with a penalty stroke goal at 21:31 scored by senior Bryn Bain. The Wolverines were awarded the penalty stroke following a foul inside the circle.
The Wolverines continued to put pressure on the Buckeye backfield, collecting three penalty corners, while Ohio State claimed one corner in the first 35 minutes. With less than four minutes remaining in the first period, Nora Murercame up big in front of goal for the Scarlet and Gray when she denied a score by UM sophomore Rachael Mack for the defensive save - her first of her career.
Both teams had multiple scoring chances in the second half, but both goalkeepers and backlines were in good position to deny any opportunities. Senior back Jenn Sciullipicked up her fifth defensive save of the season in the second half and now leads the conference in defensive stops.
Senior goalkeeper Ally Tunitisimproves to 5-5 on the season, notching six saves, while Michigan goalkeeper Christi Barwick falls to 4-1 on the season.
The Wolverines held a 13-9 advantage on shots and 6-4 lead in penalty corners.
Ohio State will now take its three-game win streak to Ball State next week as the two teams are set to play at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Muncie, Ind.