June 5, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three Ohio State field hockey players – two current and one former – will represent the Scarlet and Gray this summer at the 2014 USA Field Hockey Women’s National Championship. Junior Peanut Johnson, sophomore Brooke Hiltz and Danica Deckard, who completed her eligibility in 2012, were selected to compete in the National Championship.
The athletes train at High Performance sites throughout the country in the hopes of being named to the Women’s National Championship squad for their region. The six regional squads face off June 16-21, followed by the U21 National Championship June 22-26. All competition will be held in Lancaster, Penn., at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex.
USA Field Hockey’s High Performance Training Centers identify and train potential National Team athletes through comprehensive training and skill enhancement sessions, as well as premier level competitions. High Performance Centers allow athletes to train in regional areas close to their homes by some of the country’s top coaches. The trials are open to enrolled collegiate athlete and post-collegiate athletes identified by USA Field Hockey.
The National Championship serves as the selection process for the United States Women’s National Squad. The National Championship features not only the top collegiate players, but also current National Team members and members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Field Hockey Team.
Johnson is the Buckeyes’ top returning offensive player, as she led the 2013 squad with 10 goals and two assists for 22 points. A second team All-Big Ten and NFHCA All-West Region selection, Johnson tied for ninth last year in the Big Ten in goals scored. She recorded two hat-tricks on the year – the first was against Missouri State on Sept. 6 while the other came nearly a month later on Oct. 1 versus No. 17 Louisville. In the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals against No. 13 Northwestern, Johnson scored the game’s first goal in the 15th minute and assisted on the second goal just five minutes into the second half. Over her two-year career, Johnson has started 24 of the 37 games she has played in with 16 goals, five assists and 37 points.
Hiltz, from Virginia Beach, Va., stepped in as a freshman last year and started 18 of the 19 games that she played in. She was fifth on the team in total points (10), finishing with three goals and four assists. In a 3-2 upset of second-seeded and 13th-ranked Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, she scored off a pass from Johnson to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead. Hiltz also added a pair of goals in a 4-3 victory over Kent State on Sept. 24. A former NFHCA First Team High School All-American, Hiltz also excelled in the classroom last year, earning OSU Scholar-Athlete honors.
A Selinsgrove, Pa., native, Deckard wrapped up her Buckeye career in 2012 as a first team NFHCA All-West Region selection after leading the team with 33 points (13 goals, seven assists). She had 10 multi-point performances in 2012, including a career-high seven points vs. Kent State Sept. 19. In the conference, she was third in shots (105), shots per game (6.18) and gamewinning goals (five). A two-time All-Big Ten second team selection, Deckard finished her career with 33 goals and 10 assists for 76 points. She was also a member of the 2010 team that advanced to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history and scored a goal in Ohio State’s 3-2 victory over Syracuse in the NCAA quarterfinals.