Ohio State advances to semifinal against top-seed Penn State Friday at 10 a.m. (ET)
COLUMBUS, Ohio Junior Melissa Palm scored twice and sophomore Aisling McKeon tallied the gamewinner as the fifth-seeded Ohio State field hockey team defeated No. 4-seed Michigan, 3-2, in a first-round matchup at the 2008 Big Ten Tournament Thursday in Bloomington, Ind.
With the win, the 17th-ranked Buckeyes (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) advance to the semifinals Friday in which they take on top-seeded and ninth-ranked Penn State (13-5, 5-1 Big Ten) at 10 a.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network and live scoring is available through Indiana’s Web site: www.IUHoosiers.com.
“The team has played well together all season long, and we had a desire to come out and win today,” head coach Anne Wilkinson said. “We were energized early in the game and persevered through a physical game. Michigan is a tough team to play. We are excited to be playing tomorrow and look forward to the matchup with Penn State.”
Palm scored twice in the first half to give Ohio State two one-goal leads. The midfielder from West Vancouver, British Columbia, opened the scoring 9:07 into the game when she scored unassisted on her own rebound.
Michigan evened the score less than two minutes later on a goal by Stephanie Hoyer. But Palm responded at the 30-minute mark to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 lead to carry into halftime. Senior Linda Haussener fired a hard shot from outside the circle and Palm tipped it into the cage.
Early in the second half, the Wolverines once again tied the score when Kelly Fitzpatrick knocked in her own rebound at 39:46.
Ohio State regained the lead for the final time at 41:59 when McKeon blasted in a loose ball. The goal was the fourth of the season for the midfielder from Galway, Ireland.
With her two goals, Palm increased her season total to seven. She ranks fifth on the Buckeyes with 16 points.
Ohio State had a 17-3 advantage in penalty corners, including a 12-2 margin in the first half. Freshman goalkeeper Ally Tunitis made three saves in the OSU net and improved to 5-0. Paige Pickett totaled 10 saves for Michigan.