Aug. 24, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Head coach Anne Wilkinson and the sixth-ranked Ohio State field hockey team opens the program’s 41st season this weekend, hosting No. 15 Duke at 2 p.m. Friday and New Hampshire at 2 p.m. Saturday at Buckeye Varsity Field. Wilkinson, who is entering her 16th season at the helm of the Buckeyes, will lead a team comprised of 15 returning letterwinners, including seven starters and welcomes five newcomers to the squad in 2011. After a record-breaking 18-5 campaign, a share of the Big Ten regular season championship and its first NCAA semifinals appearance in 2010, Ohio State will once again look to make a run at a conference championship and make an impact on the national stage in the NCAA Tournament.
Gametracker of both Ohio State home games this weekend will be available on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. A link to the live scoring will be on the Buckeye field hockey schedule page on Ohio State Buckeyes.com.
WATCH THE BUCKEYES LIVE
Ohio State fans can watch the field hockey games from home this season by logging on to OhioStateBuckeyes.com for live video streaming on Buckeye Vision. Packages available for purchase include a one-month subscription for Buckeye Vision for $9.95 or a yearly all-inclusive pass for $79.95. Sign up today and watch the Buckeyes from anywhere.
NEUTRAL SITE GAME SUNDAY
Following the team’s two home games this weekend, Buckeye Varsity Field will host a neutral-site matchup as UNH takes on Kent State at 2 p.m. Sunday.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS Ohio State is No. 6 in the Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll released Tuesday by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. All seven Big Ten programs received votes in the 2011 preseason poll standings with the Buckeyes State leading the way. In all, eight of Ohio State’s 2010 opponents made the Top 20 preseason poll with three ranked in the Top 10.
OHIO STATE IN SEASON OPENERS
The Buckeyes are 21-17-2 all-time in season-opening games. Under head coach Anne Wilkinson, Ohio State is 9-6 in the season’s opener. Last season, the Scarlet and Gray started on the road at Ohio, winning 2-1 in overtime Aug. 31 in Athens.
Sciulli, a back from Palmyra, Pa., is a second team NFHCA All-West Region and All-Big Ten selection, earning the team’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season after leading the conference with a career-high eight defensive saves in 2010. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, who continued her streak of starting every career game with 23 starts last fall, is third on the all-time career defensive saves list at Ohio State with 14 three seasons.
Tunitis, a goalkeeper from Macungie, Pa., started in all 23 games of Ohio State’s run to the NCAA semifinals last year. The fourth-year Buckeye holds the single-season wins record for OSU goalkeepers with 18 victories and ranks first in career goals-against average at Ohio State (1.34). A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Tunitis ranked first in Big Ten shutouts with seven, which tied a school single-season record in 2010.
Queralt, a forward from Barcelona, Spain, is a two-time third team All-American for the Scarlet and Gray. The two-time first team NFHCA and Big Ten selection became the first freshman in program history to be named an All-American during the 2009 campaign. Last season, the OSU forward broke the single-season assists record with 27, which led the Big Ten. The two-time NFHCA National Academic honoree leads all active Buckeyes in multiple career categories, including points (93), goals (27), assists (39) and gamewinners (8).
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS
Leading Duke in her first year as head coach is Pam Bustin after spending 13 seasons as head coach at the University of Louisville. The Blue Devils, ranked No. 15 in the preseason poll, topped ACC-rival Wake Forest, 6-1, in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 20. Sophomore Caashia Karringten led the way with three goals in the contest, while junior Devon Gagliardi, senior Megan Deakins and sophomore McKay Ross added a goal each. In addition, seniors Stefanie Fee and Samantha Nelson were both selected to the Preseason All-ACC team, while the league’s six head coaches picked Duke to finish fourth in the ACC this season.
LAST TIME VS. DUKE
Last season, Ohio State defeated Duke, 3-1, Sept. 18 in Durham, N.C. Junior Berta Queralt and sophomore Paula Pastor-Pitarque, both natives of Barcelona, Spain, each recorded assists in the contest. Goalkeeper Ally Tunitis had two saves in the 70 minutes vs. the Blue Devils, while the OSU offense outshot Duke, 15-6, with a 13-5 advantage on penalty corners.
THE UNH WILDCATS
New Hampshire is under the direction of 21st-year head coach Robin Balducci, who was named the 2010 America East Coach of the Year. The Wildcats return 10 starters from a squad that posted a 14-7 record and entered the national polls for the first time in 10 years. UNH will be led by All-America Second Team selection Whitney Frates and Kyle Lyons , who joined Frates on the America East All-Conference First Team. Also returning is Hayley Rausch, who led the team in points, and Kendall Deck, both of whom were All-Conference Second Team honorees in 2010.
BUCKEYES VS. THE WILDCATS
Ohio State holds a 2-1 all-time record vs. UNH with the last meeting during the 1995 season. Last time out, the Buckeyes downed the Wildcats, 3-2, on the road in Durham. The meeting Saturday will mark the second time the Wildcats have traveled to Columbus.
Ohio State will continue its home schedule as the team welcomes in-state opponent Ohio at 3 p.m. Aug. 31 in Columbus.