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Junior midfielder is first Buckeye to receive the honor

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Aisling Coyle, a junior midfielder on the seventh-ranked Ohio State field hockey team, has been named NFHCA West Region Player of the Year, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association released Friday. The co-captain from Glasgow, Scotland, is the first Buckeye to earn the award.

Coyle adds this to her other Ohio State first, earning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award earlier this season. She also was a unanimous First Team All-Big Ten and NFHCA First Team All-West Region selection.

Along with anchoring an Ohio State backfield that has limited opponents to 1.18 goals, 3.9 penalty corners and 7.7 shots per game, Coyle has had a big season offensively as well. She leads the Buckeyes with a career-high 24 goals and 55 points through 22 games. She more than doubled her career goal total after entering her junior campaign with 11.

Coyle has scored in 16 games this season and has been held without a point just three times. Her seven game-winning goals are a record, surpassing the previous high set in 1999. She is only the third Buckeye this decade to reach the 20-goal mark, joining All-Americans Linda Haussener (20 in 2008) and Vanessa Immordino (22 in 2002).

With her game-winning goal in overtime against Syracuse in the NCAA second round, Coyle upped her point total to 55 which has not been accomplished by a Buckeye since Britta Eickhoff recorded 67 in 1996. Coyle is only the fourth Buckeye to have at 50 or more points in a season.

Coyle’s award is another first this historical season for Ohio State (18-4). The Buckeyes set a program record for wins in a season and are preparing for their first NCAA Final Four appearance, facing top-seed Maryland (21-1) in a semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. Friday in College Park, Md. The game will be streamed live on NCAA.com.