COLUMBUS, Ohio – After going 1-1 on the road last weekend, the No. 23 Ohio State field hockey team hosts Miami in the home opener at 1 p.m. Sunday at Buckeye Varsity Field. Led by two goals by senior forward Danica Deckard, the Buckeyes (2-2) claimed their second victory of the season after shutting out No. 25 American, 2-0, Aug. 31 in Washington, D.C.
FOLLOW THE BUCKEYES
To stay up to date on Buckeye field hockey, follow the team on its official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OhioStateFieldHockey. Fans can also follow the squad on Twitter here: @OhioState_FH.
The game Sunday vs. Miami will be Youth Day at Buckeye Varsity Field. Youth teams in attendance can have their photo taken after the game on the field, participate in a halftime scrimmage (limited availability), while the Ohio State field hockey team will be signing autographs following the conclusion of the game.
Gametracker will be available for the contest vs. the RedHawks. A link to the live scoring will be on the Buckeye field hockey schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
WATCH THE BUCKEYES LIVE
Ohio State fans can watch the OSU home field hockey games 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.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State is No. 23 in the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll released Sept. 4 by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. Six Big Ten programs received votes in the 2012 preseason standings with Penn State (8) leading the way followed by Iowa (10), Northwestern (11), Michigan (15), Michigan State (20) and Ohio State (23). 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 2-1 vs. ranked opponents.
OHIO STATE VS. OPPONENTS
The Buckeyes lead their opponents in multiple statistical categories:
48-40 lead in shots on goal
12.0-10.0 advantage in shots per game
26-20 lead in penalty corners
Senior captain Danica Deckard has led the Buckeyes offensively through the first two weeks of 2012. Deckard, a native of Selinsgrove, Pa., has scored all four goals for the team. She is tied for second in the Big Ten in shot attempts (30) and gamewinners (2), tied for third in goals (4) and tied for fourth in points (8). Deckard helped the Buckeyes claim their first win of the season after scoring the lone goal in the 1-0 shutout win at UNH Aug. 26 in Durham, N.H., before tallying two goals in the 2-0 shutout victory at American Aug. 31 in Washington, D.C.
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 four games, she currently leads the conference with a 1.27 goals against average and is tied for first with a .833 save percentage.
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 REDHAWKS
Last time out, Miami fell just short at Michigan State, 1-0, Sept. 2 in East Lansing, Mich. The RedHawks began the year losing three-consecutive games against Top 25 opponents. Emily Gruesser has scored the lone goal for Miami at No. 23 Louisville Aug. 26. Goalkeeper Sarah Mueller has a .778 save percentage with a 2.50 goals-against average in 280 minutes of action in front of the cage.
LAST TIME VS. MIAMI
Ohio State is 34-5-1 all-time vs. the RedHawks. Last year, the Buckeyes defeated Miami, 2-1, in Oxford Oct. 18. Danica Deckard posted the go-ahead goal in the second half to help the Scarlet and Gray claim the road victory. Under 17th-year head coach Anne Wilkinson, Ohio State is 16-0 against the RedHawks.
Last Five Meetings…
Oct. 18, 2011 – Ohio State 2, Miami 1
Oct. 7, 2010 – Ohio State 5, Miami 1
Oct. 7, 2009 – Ohio State 5, Miami 1
Oct. 15, 2008 – Ohio State 3, Miami 1
Sept. 12, 2007 – Ohio State 2, Miami 1(OT)
Ohio State returns on the road next week for two non-conference matchups. The Buckeyes travel to face Ohio in a night game Sept. 12 before taking on Bucknell Sept. 16 in Lewisburg, Pa.