Oct. 13, 2011

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 17 Ohio State field hockey team begins a four-game road swing at 3 p.m. Friday against Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes (8-6, 2-1 Big Ten) will look to rebound with a conference victory against the Spartans (6-9, 0-3 Big Ten) after falling to Iowa last week in their home finale at Buckeye Varsity Field.

To stay up to date on Buckeye field hockey, follow the team on its official Facebook page at Fans can also follow the squad on Twitter here: @OhioState_FH.

The Buckeyes hold a 4-0 record away from Columbus this season, claiming wins against Richmond (2-1) at James Madison (2-0), Kent State (4-1) and Ball State (5-0). Danica Deckard leads the team in points away from Columbus with 10 points (4g, 2a). Here is a breakdown of the team’s comparison vs. opponents on the road:
• 12-2 advantage in goals scored
• 95-22 lead in shots
• 45-17 advantage in penalty corners
• 23.8 shots per game, while limiting opponents to 5.5 shots per game

Headed into the fourth weekend of conference action, Ohio State (8-6) is tied for second in the Big Ten with Michigan (10-3), while Penn State (11-3) is in first with a 3-0 record. The Hawkeyes (10-3) and Hoosiers (8-4) follow tied for fourth place, while Northwestern (10-6) and Michigan State (6-9) round out the standings.
1. Penn State (3-0)
2. Ohio State (2-1)
    Michigan (2-1)
4. Iowa (2-2)
    Indiana (2-2)
6. Northwestern (1-3)
7. Michigan State (0-3)

Ohio State fell to Iowa, 3-0, Oct. 8 on Senior Day in Columbus. The Buckeyes held a 17-6 advantage in shots and a 5-3 lead in penalty corners. Danica Deckard led the team in shots (6) and shots on goals (4), while Jenn Sciulli notched her Big Ten-leading eighth defensive save of the season.

Juniors Berta Queralt and Danica Deckard have combined to score 40 of the Buckeyes’ 70 points this season. Queralt and Deckard, who both have 20 points (9g,2a), have been a major factor in the team’s stretch of six wins in seven games, collecting a combined 29 points. Deckard, a native of Selinsgrove, Pa., leads the team with six multi-point performances, while Queralt has tallied five this year.

Junior forward Danica Deckard claimed a four-game point streak from Sept. 16-Oct. 4, collecting 15 points on seven goals and one assist in four OSU victories. Against then-No. 11 Michigan Sept. 23, Deckard tallied both goals, including the gamewinner with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. The native of Selinsgrove, Pa., continued her hot streak Sept. 27 at Ball State when she posted career highs in points (7) and goals (3) in the first hat trick of her career. The speedy forward was rewarded for her clutch play against the Wolverines when she was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week Sept. 27 – the first of conference weekly laurel of her career.

Deckard knocked in her eighth goal of the campaign in the opening minutes of a 3-2 victory against then-No. 13 Indiana Sept. 30 in Columbus. Last time out, Deckard posted the team’s second goal against No. 20 Louisville Oct. 4 at Buckeye Varsity Field. The four-game point streak ties her career high set in 2010.

Senior captain Jenn Sciulli claimed her eighth defensive save of the season in the 2-1 win against No. 20 Louisville Oct. 4. The Buckeye back leads the conference in defensive saves and is second in the nation in defensive stops. The native of Palmyra, Pa., Sciulli now has 22 career saves and is tied with former Buckeye Kim Bush (1988-91) for second on the OSU all-time list. On the other side of turf, the OSU back leads the team in assists with five helpers this season.

Michigan State went 1-1 last weekend in the state of Indiana, defeating Ball State (2-1) and falling to then-No.15 Indiana (4-2). Freshman Abby Barker was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week after scoring three goals during the road trip. Goalkeeper Molly Cassidy leads the Big Ten in saves per game with a 6.47 average in 2011. The Spartans have had 11 different players score goals this season.

The Buckeyes lead the all-time series, 18-3, against the Spartans. Last time out, Ohio State defeated Michigan State, 2-0, in the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 5, 2010, in Evanston, Ill. The Scarlet and Gray also defeated the Spartans in the regular season, claiming a 5-1 victory in Columbus Oct. 15.
Last Five Meetings…
Nov. 5, 2010 – Ohio State 2, Michigan State 0
Oct. 15, 2010 – Ohio State 5, Michigan State 1
Oct. 23, 2009 – Michigan State 2, Ohio State 1
Sept. 26, 2008 – Michigan State 3, Ohio State 1
Oct. 7, 2007 – Michigan State 4, Ohio State 2

Junior captain Berta Queralt had a game to remember in the 4-3 overtime victory against Wake Forest Sept. 16 in Columbus. The OSU forward tallied four goals on eight points (career-highs), including the gamewinner in extra time vs. the Demon Deacons. With her eight-point performance, the native of Barcelona, Spain, became the ninth Buckeye in program history to collect at least 100 career points. Queralt, a two-time All-American, is currently sixth in the record books with 113 points. Queralt is tied for the team lead in points (20) and goals (9) this year.

The eight-point performance by Queralt is tied for first in the Big Ten in individual game-highs with Kelsey Amy of Penn State and Kim Scraper of Iowa, who have each claimed eight points earlier this season.

The Buckeyes continue their road schedule at Miami (Ohio) at 3 p.m. Oct. 18 before traveling to Penn State at noon Sept. 22.