Junior Danica Deckard
Sept. 27, 2011
Danica Deckard continued where she left off last week against Michigan as the junior forward on the No. 20 Ohio State field hockey team notched her first career hat trick in a 5-0 win at Ball State Tuesday afternoon. The Buckeyes (6-5, 1-0 Big Ten) have now won four-consecutive games this season and hold a 5-2 record in the second month of the 2011 campaign.
Deckard, who was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week earlier this afternoon, collected career highs in goals (3) and points (7) with also an assist in just the first half against the Cardinals. The native of Selinsgrove, Pa., Deckard has now collected 11 points on five goals and one assist in the last two games. The OSU forward has 16 points (7g, 2a) in 2011.
Ohio State posted four goals in the first half and a fifth score in the second en route to the road victory.
Junior tri-captain Berta Queralt picked up her eighth goal of the season to continue to lead the team in points with 18 (8g, 2a) through 11 games.
Four other Buckeyes also claimed points against Ball State, including a memorable goal by junior back Laura Napolitano, who notched her first career goal. Senior tri-captain Jenn Sciulli, sophomore back Nora Murer and freshman forward Carly Mackessy each tallied an assist.
Deckard scored the first of her three goals at 8:17 into the game on a breakaway for the unassisted score. Deckard's speed was shown as the OSU forward was able to get around the keeper and send a shot into the back of the cage.
Just over two minutes later, Deckard struck again at 11:45 following a rebound inside the circle. The assist was credited to Mackessy after she posted a shot on goal.
Napolitano then extended the team's lead to 3-0 with her first career goal at 18:20 off a corner with Deckard picking up the assist on the play. A native Cincinnati, Ohio, Napolitano has collected four points this season.
The Buckeye offense did not stop there as Deckard sealed the hat trick performance at 22:26 when she slapped a shot through the keeper's feet inside the circle with the assist by Murer.
The next 38 minutes went scoreless until Queralt blasted a shot into the back of the cage following a penalty corner at 60:22 in the second half after a pass by Sciulli.
Ohio State outshot Ball State, 23-4, and held an 8-2 advantage in penalty corners.
Senior goalkeeper Ally Tunitis improves to 6-5 on the season and now has 12 career shutouts, which is fourth-best on the OSU all-time list. Sciulli also posted her league-high six defensive save of the season against Ball State.
Ohio State is back in action at home against Indiana at 3 p.m. Friday at Buckeye Varsity Field.
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