Ohio State Opens 2014 Campaign This Weekend
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State opens its 43rd season of field hockey by hosting the annual Buckeye Classic Friday and Saturday. The Buckeyes welcome fifth-ranked Syracuse to Columbus for a 3 p.m. game on Friday while the Orange and Miami (Ohio) square off on Saturday at 4 p.m. On Monday, Ohio State travels to Albany, NY, to a matchup against the Great Danes.
Fans who cannot make it to Buckeye Varsity Field on Friday can watch the action live on BuckeyeVision (subscription required). Live stats will also be available for the contest and can be found on the calendar tab of OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Twitter updates will be available from @OhioState_FH
IN A NUTSHELL
● Ohio State returns six starters from its 2013 squad, including leading scorer Peanut Johnson (10 goals, two assists), who was a second team All-Big Ten and NFHCA All-Region selection.
● The Buckeyes welcome 13 newcomers - 12 freshmen and one sophomore transfer.
● Head coach Anne Wilkinson is beginning her 19th season in Columbus. She is the Buckeyes' all-time winningest coach and has a 216-144 record with the Buckeyes. Wilkinson is just six wins shy of becoming the 15th Division I coach in history to reach the 300-career victory milestone.
SCOUTING THE ORANGE
Syracuse coming off a 16-4 season in 2013 in which it went 4-2 in its inaugural ACC campaign, finishing second. The Orange finished the year ranked No. 2 in the final NFHCA Coaches Poll. Picked third in the ACC preseason poll, Syracuse returns third team All-America selection Alyssa Manley (seven goals, four assists in 2013) and adds Old Dominion transfer Kati Nearhouse, a preseason All-ACC choice.
ALL TIME VS. SYRACUSE
the Buckeyes and Orange have met eight previous times, with Syracuse owning a 6-2 lead in the series. Ohio State's biggest win, however, came in 2010 when it claimed a 3-2 overtime win to punch its ticket to the NCAA Final Four. Last year, the Buckeyes lost a hard-fought 1-0 decision to the Orange on a goal with just 11 minutes left in the second half.
Albany, one of the perennial powers in the America East conference, returns midfielder Paula Heuser, the team's most prominent offensive weapon. She led the league with 45 points last year and became the program's single-season Division I leader in points and goals in her rookie season. The Great Danes are the unanimous preseason pick to win the America East in 2014.
ALL TIME VS. ALBANY
Monday's game will be just the fourth in program history against Albany, with Ohio State owning a 3-0 lead in the series. The teams last meet in the opening round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament and Ohio State claimed a 2-1 overtime victory on a goal from Paula Pastor-Pitarque.
WAGNER, ROYCE NAMED 2014 CAPTAINS
Senior Kaitlyn Wagner and junior Emma Royce have been selected as co-captains of the Ohio State field hockey team for the 2014 season, head coach Anne Wilkinson announced last week. It is the first such honor for both Wagner and Royce, respectively.
Royce, who has started 27 of the 28 careers games that she has played in, was a member of the 2013 Big Ten All-Tournament team. She totaled three points on one goal and one assist during the 2013 campaign while averaging 72 minutes per game. As a freshman in 2012, she played at least 70 minutes in 16 of 19 games and scored goals against Missouri State and Bucknell. Last Thursday, she was named to the Big Ten Preseason Watch List.
Wagner, a senior from Oley, Pa., has started 59 straight games in her Buckeye career. She scored two goals last year on seven shots, recording tallies against Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State. As a sophomore in 2012, Wagner was part of an Ohio State backfield that limited opponents to just 10.2 shots per game and 1.67 goals per game. In the classroom, Wagner earned NFHCA National Academic honors.
TRIO OF BUCKEYES NAMED TO BIG TEN WATCH LIST
Three members of the Ohio State field hockey team - juniors Peanut Johnson and Emma Royce and senior Kaitlyn Wagner - have been named the Big Ten Preseason Watch List, the conference announced last Thursday.
Johnson is the Buckeyes' top returning offensive player, as she led the 2013 squad with 10 goals and two assists for 22 points. A second team All-Big Ten and NFHCA All-West Region selection, Johnson tied for ninth last year in the Big Ten in goals scored. She recorded two hat-tricks on the year - the first was against Missouri State on Sept. 6 while the other came nearly a month later on Oct. 1 versus No. 17 Louisville. In the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals against No. 13 Northwestern, Johnson scored the game's first goal in the 15th minute and assisted on the second goal just five minutes into the second half. Over her two-year career, Johnson has started 24 of the 37 games she has played in with 16 goals, five assists and 37 points.
Royce, who has started 27 of the 28 careers games that she has played in, was a member of the 2013 Big Ten All-Tournament team. She totaled three points on one goal and one assist during the 2013 campaign while averaging 72 minutes per game. As a freshman in 2012, she played at least 70 minutes in 16 of 19 games and scored goals against Missouri State and Bucknell.
Wagner, a senior from Oley, Pa., has started 59 straight games in her Buckeye career. She scored two goals last year on seven shots, recording tallies against Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State. As a sophomore in 2012, Wagner was part of an Ohio State backfield that limited opponents to just 10.2 shots per game and 1.67 goals per game. In the classroom, Wagner, an environmental science major, earned NFHCA National Academic honors.
PARDI HIRED AS ASSISTANT COACH
Homero Pardi, who has over 10 years of collegiate coaching experience, was added to the Buckeyes' staff as an assistant coach over the summer.
Pardi was at Rider for two seasons and helped the Broncs win the 2012 Northeast Conference regular season and tournament titles and the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship. Overall, Rider won 28 games over the last two seasons. Pardi coached the MAAC co-Player of the Year, the Rookie of the Year and a member of the Longstreth/NFHCA Mid-Athletic All-Region second team.
From 2008-11, Pardi coached at Princeton, where the Tigers were a perennial top-10 team and advanced to the 2009 Final Four. His duties included scouting analysis, practice planning and video breakdown.
Prior to Princeton, Pardi was an assistant at Georgetown from 2003-2007 and Kent State from 2002-2003. In addition to his college coaching experience, Pardi has served as a coaching director of Champion's Edge Field Hockey since 2003, a program that includes camps and clinics for players between the ages of 8-12.
NOTING THE BUCKEYES' 2014 SCHEDULE
● Ohio State will play nine games at Buckeye Varsity Field this year
● Six contests will be against teams that advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament
● The Buckeyes face eight teams that are ranked in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll, including four in the top 10.