Freshman Berta Queralt leads Ohio State with seven points on two goals and three assists
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 18th-ranked Ohio State field hockey team bounced back Sunday with a strong offensive effort, outshooting Saint Louis, 32-0, en route to a 7-0 blanking of the Billikens after dropping a tough 1-0 decision to No. 12 James Madison the day before.
“I’m really pleased with the way we stepped out today after a hard, physical game yesterday,” Anne Wilkinson, Ohio State head coach, said. “We came out strong and played for a full 70 minutes. I’m proud of this group because we finished the opportunities we had today.”
In all, six Buckeyes notched their first goals of the season Sunday, including freshman Berta Queralt who notched her first career multiple-goal game. The native of Barcelona, Spain, started the Ohio State scoring drive at 2:31 of the first half deflecting a cross from junior Aisling McKeon past SLU starting goalkeeper Katherine Deem.
Continuing to put pressure on the Billiken defense, the Scarlet and Gray trio of Jenn Sciulli, Aisling Coyle and Queralt combined to convert a penalty corner. Sciulli, a sophomore back from Palmyra, Pa., sent a pass to the top of the circle where Queralt made the stop and Coyle, a sophomore captain from Glasgow, Scotland, sent a shot through the SLU defense to put the Buckeyes up 2-0 at 25:48.
For the game, Ohio State drew 16 penalty corners while not allowing Saint Louis a chance.
The Buckeye defense worked diligently to keep the Billikens at Bay, controlling the ball through the midfield. For Ohio State’s third goal, Coyle picked up a loose ball midfield and sent a long pass down the left sideline to McKeon who cut straight toward the top of the circle. The junior drew Saint Louis’ Deem out of the goal and sent a low shot straight to the back of the net at 28:24.
Queralt topped off Ohio State’s first-half scoring drive, firing off an unstoppable shot that sailed into the top left corner of the goal for her second goal of the day.
Ohio State and Saint Louis both switched keepers at halftime. Buckeye sophomore Ally Tunitis relieved senior Lindsay Quintiliani while Billiken sophomore Alex LaBarge replaced Deem. Tunitis would played 28:29 minutes before Ohio State sent in junior Ali Ristas for the remaining 6:31.
“It is good for our defense to get a feel for how different goalies communicate so that was something we definitely needed to do,” Wilkinson said.
With nearly 10 minutes elapsed in the second half, Queralt sent a pass across the playing field, connecting with classmate Danica Deckard who directed a low shot pasted LaBarge on the left side at 43:31.
Keegan Billick scored her first career goal at 51:30 dribbling a pass from Queralt to the top of the circle where the junior from Reisterstown, Md., sent a high shot to the center the net to give Ohio State a 6-0 lead.
Even with a large lead, the Buckeyes continued to push forward in the second half, drawling nine of the team’s 16 penalty corners after halftime. The team scored its second penalty corner goal of the game at 68:47 as Coyle sent the ball into play where junior Bri Doak made the stop for junior Jena Cacciatore who tallied the 12th goal of her career.
Ohio State heads out on the road next to face Syracuse (2-0) at 3 p.m. Sept. 4 and Princeton (0-0) at 2 p.m. Sept. 5 in Syracuse, N.Y. Both the Orange and the Tigers ranked in the Top 10 of the preseason poll so this will be an important road series for the Buckeyes.