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Aug. 10, 2011

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State field hockey head coach Anne Wilkinson welcomed 19 student-athletes to open preseason Tuesday. Following its first meeting Tuesday evening at Biggs Athletic Training Facility, the team had its first practice Wednesday afternoon at its second-year facility, Buckeye Varsity Field.

“It’s great to get started,” Wilkinson said. “We’ve been thinking a lot about this season throughout the spring and the summer, so it’s nice to get everybody finally playing together, including our freshman class.”

The squad of two seniors, three juniors, nine sophomores and five freshmen is preparing for the season opener against Duke at 2 p.m. Aug. 26. The Buckeyes will have one exhibition game, hosting Indiana at 4 p.m. Aug. 17.

Senior leadership will come from back Jenn Sciulli and goalkeeper Ally Tunitis. The Scarlet and Gray return three juniors, including two on the attack with Berta Queralt and Danica Deckard as well as Laura Napolitano in the defensive backfield. The sophomore class includes midfielders Paula Pastor-Pitarque, Arielle Cowie, Maria Swartz, forwards Nina Passen, Susan Dappen, Kaitie Kirchner, backs Nora Murer and Christina Shea and goalkeeper Emma Voelker. The five members of the freshman class include forward Alexis Allen, midfielders Carly Mackessy, Carline van Schijndel and Kaitlyn Wagner and goalkeeper Sydney Stype.

View the photo album of the Buckeyes’ first practice this afternoon. Check back at OhioStateBuckeyes.com for more preseason updates and the 2011 season outlook.