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Dec. 21, 2016

This season we have been publishing feature stories on select players in our home game programs. Through the first half of the season we have profiled five Ohio State women’s hockey players in these stories. This week we’ll be posting one each day so you can have a chance to catch up on the wonderful stories behind some of your favorite Buckeyes.

*Each story will be posted as it was written for that given weekend. Because of that, some information (records, statistics, etc.) will be outdated.

Last year around this time, Maddy Field was about a month into her freshman season here at Ohio State and a few weeks removed from her first collegiate accolade.

The Oakville, Ontario native laced up her skates as a Buckeye for the first time on Oct. 2, 2015 in a 5-1 win over Lindenwood. She had a goal and an assist in that game, the first points of her career. She followed that up with a goal the following night in another Ohio State victory.

After the season-opening series and just two games as a college hockey player, Field was named WCHA Rookie of the Week. Not a bad way to get things started.

“I was very nervous,” Field said of her first game as a freshman. “I remember sitting there shaking in my equipment before the game. I remember the seniors coming up to me and saying ‘when was the last time you did something for the first time?’ That stuck with me. I had an opportunity to go out there and do something for the first time and I just wanted to take in the moment.”

With a goal and an assist in that first game, it’s safe to say she made the most of that special opportunity.

“It was crazy, it was definitely a very unique experience,” she said of that first game. “I wasn’t expecting it. It was a great confidence booster too, getting that first goal out of the way so quickly.”

Her freshman season, Field tallied 10 goals and recorded eight assists for 18 points, second-best among players who returned to Ohio State for this season. She was one of just three freshmen in the WCHA last year to reach double digits in goals, doing so on 75 shots. At the end of the year she had five total multi-point weekends, and she scored a goal in both of Ohio State’s victories over ranked opponents. That includes the game-winner in a win over then-No. 6 North Dakota.

As a sophomore this year, Field has been a fantastic offensive weapon for the Buckeyes. Her four goals lead the team and her six points are tied for the team lead; her 35 shots on goal are more than anyone else as well. Head coach Nadine Muzerall praised Field after a game against Minnesota earlier this season, citing her hustle, toughness, and ability to get shots on net, among other things.

All of those traits are big components of Field’s game, and they’re all things she tries to do night in and night out.

“I’m trying my best and I think that I’m playing hungry out there,” Field said of her level of play this season. “I’m just trying to get things going for the team.”

Another important facet of her game is something that, quite literally, comes naturally to her: size.

“I’ve always been a power forward,” Field said. “I’ve always been one of the bigger girls on the team. Big parts of my game are my speed and power, that’s how it’s always been”

Field was quick to say that she actually thinks she can do better; she thinks she can generate more offensive plays and more goals for the Buckeyes.

That’s not just talk either. Ever since the end of last season Field has been working to improve her game and get better on the ice. As a freshman she was struck with just how fast the game was played at this level, so over the summer she worked on her speed and her agility to improve her first steps (“coaches have always told me that the first couple steps are so important,” Field said). She has also been making the most of the resources made available to student-athletes. She’s been using Ohio State’s Rapid Shot, a training tool that measures accuracy, shot speed and reaction time, as well as adding some extra on-ice time to her schedule.

As the season continues it’s clear that the extra work is paying off for Field.

Coming into this weekend she has a point in three of her last four games, coming against the No. 2 and 3-ranked teams in the country, to boot.

This weekend she has the opportunity to face Lindenwood again. Historically, Ohio State has done well against the Lions, winning all four meetings: 5-1 and 3-2 triumphs last season to go along with 4-0 and 7-2 wins during the 2012-13 season, the last time Lindenwood played in Columbus.

Though last year’s performance is still up there in her head somewhere, Field is focused on the task at hand and what’s to come for the Buckeyes.

“Obviously it’s in the back of my head,” Field acknowledged. “But that’s all in the past and I need to worry about the future. It’ll be a big weekend for us as a team, hopefully we can come out of here with two wins.”