Aug. 29, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After going 1-1 on the road during the opening weekend, the No. 15 Ohio State field hockey team will travel for its biggest road test of the year, facing No. 25 American at 3 p.m. Friday in Washington, D.C., before taking on the defending national champions and top-ranked Maryland at 1 p.m. Sunday in College Park, Md. The Buckeyes claimed their first win of the season against a Top 25 opponent last time out, blanking No. 18 UNH, 1-0, Aug. 26 in Durham, N.H.
Live stats for both Ohio State away games this weekend will be available on aueagles.com and umterps.com. A link to the live scoring will be on the Buckeye field hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
WILKINSON CLAIMS WIN NO. 200
Head coach Anne Wilkinson, who is in her 17th season at the helm of the Buckeyes, picked up her 200th victory at Ohio State after the squad posted its first win of the season in shutout fashion, downing No. 18 UNH, 1-0, Aug. 26 in Durham, N.H. With the win, Wilkinson becomes the first coach in program history to hit the 200-win mark.
Senior captain Danica Deckard scored the eventual gamewinner at 29:47 when she redirected a UNH back pass inside the right post of the cage. Deckard, a native of Selinsgrove, Pa., has two goals and four points to lead the team.
The Ohio State defense was solid throughout the entire competition, limiting the UNH offense to seven shots and four penalty corners. The OSU backfield did not allow a shot or corner attempt in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
VOELKER CLAIMS FIRST CAREER WIN
Junior goalkeeper Emma Voelker posted her first career victory in front of the cage in the team’s 1-0 shutout over No. 18 UNH. Voelker, a native of Timonium, Md., made four saves vs. the Wildcats in 70 minutes of action. After two games, she currently leads the conference with a 1.27 goals against average and is tied for first with a .833 save percentage.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State is No. 15 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll released Aug. 21 by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. Five Big Ten programs received votes in the 2012 preseason standings with Penn State (9) leading the way followed by Michigan (10), Iowa (12), Ohio State (15) and Northwestern (20). In all, eight of Ohio State’s 2012 opponents made the Top 20 preseason poll with three ranked in the Top 10.
This season, Ohio State is 1-0 vs. ranked opponents.
THE BUCKEYE CAPTAINS
Berta Queralt, Danica Deckard and Laura Napolitano have been named captains of the 2012 squad.
Queralt, a forward from Barcelona, Spain, is a two-time NFHCA third team All-American and three-time All-Big ten selection. In 2009, the forward became the first freshman in program history to earn All-America honors after scoring 46 points with a team-best 17 goals with 12 assists. In 2010, Queralt claimed 47 points, breaking the OSU single-season assists record with 27, while tallying 10 goals. A three-time NFHCA National Academic honoree, Queralt is a two-time captain for the Scarlet and Gray and tied Deckard for the team lead in points last year with 24.
Deckard, a forward from Selinsgrove, Pa., posted second team All-Big Ten honors in 2011 after recording 24 points with a team-best 11 goals. Last season, Deckard had a breakout year, ranking in the Top 10 in several offensive categories in the Big Ten, including tied for second in gamewinners (5), third in shots per game (4.80), fourth in shots (96) and tied for sixth in goals (11). A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Deckard will look to lead the OSU attack along with fellow classmate Queralt.
Napolitano, a back from Cincinnati, Ohio, notched a career-high nine points on three goals and three assists in 2011. She claimed three defensive saves and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Nov. 3. Napolitano, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, will look to guide the OSU backfield and will be a key component to the squad’s penalty corner unit that averaged 7.14 corners per game in 2011.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
American returns to action after falling short in two games at home against Richmond and No. 3 Old Dominion Aug. 25-26 in Washington, D.C. The Eagles, ranked 25th in the country, were picked first in the 2012 Patriot League Preseason Poll and bring back 12 student-athletes from a 2011 squad that claimed two Top 10 wins. Gina Hofmann leads the squad with three points (1g, 1a), while goalkeeper Ashley Dalisera holds a .684 save percentage with a 3.00 goals-against average.
LAST TIME VS. AMERICAN
The Eagles defeated the Buckeyes, 3-1, in the only meeting between the two teams during the 2007 campaign. Head coach Anne Wilkinson returns to American this weekend where she coached for nine seasons before coming to Ohio State. She earned two conference of the year honors and led the Eagles to a 15-3 season during the 1994 campaign.
A LOOK AT MARYLAND
Maryland, who claimed its second-consecutive national championship in 2011, picked up two road wins last weekend on the west coast, defeating Cal, 2-1, Aug. 24 before downing No. 11 Stanford, 3-2, in double overtime Aug. 26. The Terrapins are led by Jill Witmer, who leads the team with six points on three goals, while Katie Gerzabek has a pair of scores. Maryland leads opponents in shots in the opening half 18-10 and allows just 11.5 shots per game heading into the second week of action. Goalkeeper Natalie Hunter is 2-0 with a 1.26 goals-against average and a .750 save percentage.
BUCKEYES VS. TERRAPINS
Maryland holds a 6-0 all-time record vs. the Buckeyes. The meeting Sunday between the two schools will be first contest since the 2010 NCAA Semifinal in College Park, Md. The Terrapins defeated Ohio State, 3-1, in the Buckeyes’ first NCAA Final Four appearance in program history.
Ohio State begins the home schedule Sept. 9 vs. Miami at Buckeye Varsity Field. As always, admission is free.