Buckeyes Travel to Virginia for NCAA Tournament

Nov. 10, 2011

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State field hockey team will play No. 2 Old Dominion at 11:30 a.m. ET Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Norfolk, Va. The Buckeyes (12-8, 4-2 Big Ten), who finished tied for second in the Big Ten regular season standings, advance to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in program history after receiving an at-large bid into the championship.

The winner of the Ohio State-Old Dominion game will play the winner of the later game between No. 6 Duke and No. 10 Stanford at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Powhatan Sports Center for a chance to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship Nov. 18 in Louisville, Ky. The matchup between the Blue Devils and Cardinal will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.

To stay up to date on Buckeye field hockey, follow the team on its official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OhioStateFieldHockey. Fans can also follow the squad on Twitter here: @OhioState_FH.

Live video and scoring of the game Saturday will be available at www.odusports.com. A link to GameTracker with live stats will be on the Buckeye field hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. For more information on the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship, log onto www.NCAA.com.

Ohio State enters the contest with a 12-8 overall ledger, including a 4-2 Big Ten record. The Buckeyes have won four out of their last five games with all four victories claimed away from Columbus. In all, four Big Ten teams will represent the conference in the 2011 NCAA Tournament in Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Iowa. It is the 11th-consecutive season the conference has sent at least three teams to the national tournament and the fourth time in the last 17 seasons the league will send four or more teams.

This will be the Buckeyes’ seventh trip to the national tournament and sixth under head coach Anne Wilkinson. Ohio State made its first appearance at the NCAA Tournament in 1994 but did not return again until 2001 with Wilkinson at the helm. The 2011 campaign marks the first time in program history the Buckeyes have made three-consecutive trips to the tournament.

Last season, Ohio State advanced to its first NCAA semifinals in program history, falling, 3-1, to Maryland, the eventual national champion, in College Park, Md. The Buckeyes are 3-6 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.

2009 NCAA Champion North Carolina earned the No. 1 seed, going, 20-1 this season and winning the ACC title. Old Dominion picked up the No. 2 seed while Syracuse received the three-seed and Connecticut received the four-seed.

The Lady Monarchs (20-2) punched their ticket to the tournament after claiming their 15th CAA crown with a 5-1 win over No. 16 Northeastern Nov. 6 in Norfolk, Va. Old Dominion has won an NCAA best nine national championships and are making an NCAA best 29th overall appearance. Last season, Old Dominion advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2010 NCAA Tournament before losing, 5-1, to North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Led by 29th-year head coach Beth Anders, the Lady Monarchs have won nine NCAA titles and have claimed the CAA crown 14 of 21 times since joining the league in 1991. Offensively, Old Dominion is led by senior forward Emma Batten, who was named the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Field Hockey Player of the Year. Batten has tallied 55 points on 25 goals and five assists. Senior back Stephanie Kratzer, who was named the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, has led an ODU defense that has claimed seven shutouts in 2011.

The Lady Monarchs lead the all-time series, 4-1, against Ohio State. Last time out, Old Dominion defeated the Buckeyes, 2-0, Sept. 11 in Columbus.

Sept. 11, 2011 – Old Dominion 2, Ohio State 0
Sept. 12, 2010 - Ohio State 2, Old Dominion 1
Nov. 12, 2005 - Old Dominion 5, Ohio State 4
Sept. 9, 1996 - Old Dominion 3, Ohio State 1

Junior forwards Berta Queralt and Danica Deckard lead the squad with 24 points. Deckard has claimed a team-high 11 goals, while Queralt has tallied 10 scores this season. Senior back Jenn Sciulli has 16 points with a team-high six assists, while sophomore Paula Pastor-Pitarque has 10 points (3g, 4a). Senior goalkeeper Ally Tunitis is 12-8 overall with a 1.40 goals-against average. As a team, Ohio State is averaging 14.9 shots per game, while allowing just 1.45 goals per game, which is first in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes lead the conference in defensive saves with 12 stops.

16th-year head coach Anne Wilkinson is one win shy of 200 career wins at Ohio State. The 2006 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Wilkinson owns the highest winning percentage in OSU field hockey coaching history with an overall record of 199-121 (.622). A native of West Chester, Pa., Wilkinson guided the 2010 squad to the first NCAA semifinals in program history.

For the sixth-consecutive season, at least one Buckeye earned a player of the year award from the Big Ten as senior tri-captain Jenn Sciulli was named Defensive Player Year. With the honor, Sciulli becomes the eighth Ohio State student-athlete to receive a major conference distinction, all under 16-year head coach Anne Wilkinson. Sciulli is the second-consecutive Buckeye to receive the defensive award after former teammate Aisling Coyle won the award in 2010.

In addition, Sciulli was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection, while junior forwards Berta Queralt and Danica Deckard and sophomore midfielder Paula Pastor-Pitarque were Second Team All-Big Ten honorees. Senior goalkeeper Ally Tunitis was Ohio State’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.

The Buckeyes, who earned the No. 2 seed, advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament after defeating Michigan State, 2-1, in the opening round Nov. 3 in State College, Pa. However, Ohio State fell, 1-0, to No. 3 seed Penn State, the eventual tournament champion, Nov. 4 at the PSU Field Hockey Complex. Jenn Sciulli and Paula Pastor-Pitarque were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

The Buckeyes hold an 8-2 record away from Columbus in 2011. Danica Deckard leads the team on the road with 14 points (6g, 2a), while Berta Queralt has collected nine points (3g, 3a). Senior goalkeeper Ally Tunitis has a 0.64 goals-against average on the road with an .825 save percentage. Here is a breakdown of the team's comparison vs. opponents on the road:
• 23-8 advantage in goals scored
• 181-80 lead in shots
• 97-47 advantage in penalty corners
• 18.1 shots per game, while limiting opponents to 8.0 shots per game

The Buckeyes lead their opponents in multiple statistical categories:
• 38-30 advantage in goals scored
• 182-118 lead in shots on goal
• 14.9-11.0 advantage in shots per game
• 144-115 lead in penalty corners

Juniors Berta Queralt and Danica Deckard have combined to score 48 of the Buckeyes' 96 points this season. Queralt and Deckard, who both have 24 points, have been major factors in the team's stretch of 10 wins in 13 games, collecting a combined 37 points. Deckard leads the team with eight multi-point performances followed by Queralt with seven games of two points or more in a game.

Jenn Sciulli, a native of Palmyra, Pa., passed former Buckeye and teammate Bri Doak (2007-10) for first on the OSU all-time list with 83 career starts in the 2-1 win vs. Michigan State No. 3 in State College, Pa. The OSU captain, who has started every collegiate game f
or the Scarlet and Gray with 84 starts, has played more than 5,800 minutes in the Buckeye backfield.

Senior tri-captain Ally Tunitis is second on the OSU all-time career goalkeeper wins list with 37 victories since joining the program in 2008. The native of Macungie, Pa., Tunitis holds the single-season wins record set last season with 18 victories en route to the program's first NCAA semifinal appearance. The Buckeye goalkeeper also holds the OSU career goals-against average record with a 1.36 mark in 3,803 minutes played (third-most). With the 2-0 shutout at Penn State Oct. 22, Tunitis is now third in career shutouts with 13 overall, passing former OSU goalkeeper Kim Willis (1985-87).

Junior forward Danica Deckard claimed a four-game point streak from Sept. 16-Oct. 4, collecting 15 points on seven goals and one assist in four OSU victories. Against then-No. 11 Michigan Sept. 23, Deckard tallied both goals, including the gamewinner with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. The native of Selinsgrove, Pa., continued her hot streak Sept. 27 at Ball State when she posted career highs in points (7) and goals (3) in the first hat trick of her career. The speedy forward was rewarded for her clutch play against the Wolverines when she was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 27 - the first of conference weekly laurel of her career.

Senior captain Jenn Sciulli claimed her 10th defensive save (career high) in a 2-1 win vs. Michigan State Nov. 3. The Buckeye back leads the conference in defensive saves and is second in the nation in defensive stops. A native of Palmyra, Pa., Sciulli now has 24 career saves and is second on the OSU all-time list. On the other side of turf, the OSU back leads the team in assists with six helpers this season.

Junior captain Berta Queralt had a game to remember in the 4-3 overtime victory against Wake Forest Sept. 16 in Columbus. The OSU forward tallied four goals on eight points (career-highs), including the gamewinner in extra time vs. the Demon Deacons. With her eight-point performance, the native of Barcelona, Spain, became the ninth Buckeye in program history to collect at least 100 career points. Queralt, a two-time All-American, is currently sixth in the record books with 117 points. Queralt leads the squad with 24 points and has posted 10 goals and four assists. The eight-point performance by Queralt is tied for first in the Big Ten in individual game-highs with Kelsey Amy of Penn State and Kim Scraper of Iowa, who also claimed eight-point performances earlier this season.

Five Buckeye underclassmen have started in all 20 games this season, including sophomores Paula Pastor-Pitarque, Arielle Cowie, Nora Murer and Christina Shea and freshman Kaitlyn Wagner. The four sophomores have a combined 137 starts since joining the squad during the 2010 season. Along with Wagner, freshman Carly Mackessy has started in the last 14 of the last 15 games for the Scarlet and Gray. Sophomore Maria Swartz has played in 19 games this season and has seen more than 40 minutes of action in the last six games.

Jenn Sciulli has been invited to play in the 2011 NFHCA Division I Senior All-Star Game, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association announced Tuesday. Sciulli, who is second in the nation in defensive stops with 10 in 2011, will play at the event held at 3 p.m. Nov. 19 at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.