Oct. 14, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 17 Ohio State field hockey team fell in strokes at Michigan State, 2-1, Friday afternoon in East Lansing, Mich. It was a defensive battle in a conference matchup between the Buckeyes (8-7, 2-2 Big Ten) and Spartans (7-9, 1-3 Big Ten) with a combined total of 23 saves in 100 minutes of competition.
Offensively, Ohio State was led by junior Laura Napolitano, who collected the OSU goal in the second half. The native of Cincinnati, Ohio, now has six points this season.
In the stroke period, the score was tied, 2-2, after Kaitlyn Wagner and Paula Pastor-Pitarque made both their attempts for the Scarlet and Gray. However, MSU freshman Allie Ahern gave the Spartans the lead on their fourth attempt, while MSU goalkeeper Molly Cassidy denied the Buckeyes’ fifth attempt to help claim the league victory.
Senior tri-captain Ally Tunitis notched seven saves – which was one shy of tying her single-season high in saves. Also collecting stops was senior tri-captain Jenn Sciulli, who posted her ninth defensive save of the season to continue her stretch of leading the Big Ten in stops for a defender. With the save, she passes Kim Bush for second on the OSU all-time list with 23 saves. Sophomore Nora Murer also collected a big defensive save at the end of regulation for her second stop of 2011.
After a scoreless first half, the Spartans opened the scoring at 42:50 when Ahern scored from the right corner of the cage following a corner. The assist was credited to Katherine Jamieson.
However, the Buckeyes answered just 40 seconds later when Napolitano notched her second-career goal off of an OSU penalty corner at 43:40. The goal for Napolitano was unassisted.
No scores were then seen for the final 27 minutes of regulation as both defenses held their ground with a total of eight overall saves during the time frame. Ohio State had a great opportunity to take the lead in a span of two minutes around the 50-minute mark with three-consecutive corners.
Murer came up huge for the Buckeyes with no time left on the clock when she stopped a MSU shot on goal following a corner.
The first overtime went scoreless as Ohio State collected four shots on goal, while Michigan State posted one shot on goal. However, both keepers continued to deny both offenses as the first extra period saw a combined five saves on seven-on-seven action.
During the second overtime, the Buckeyes outshot the Spartans, 3-2, while posting a 4-1 advantage in corners. Sciulli led the squad with seven shots, including four on goal against Michigan State.
The Scarlet and Gray held a 6-1 lead in both shots and penalty corners during the first 35 minutes. Overall, Ohio State notched a 21-13 lead in shots and collected 15 penalty corners.
The Buckeyes continue their road schedule at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Miami (Ohio) in Oxford at the Miami Field Hockey Complex.