Oct. 26, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The eighth-ranked Ohio State field hockey team (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten) wraps up Big Ten and regular season play Saturday when the Buckeyes travel to take on No. 15 Michigan State (10-7, 1-4 Big Ten) in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes have a 5-2 record away from home this season and the Spartans boast a 4-1 home record. The game will be played at 11 a.m. EDT.

A Look Back
The Buckeyes split a pair of road games last weekend to No. 6 Penn State and Lock Haven, in State College, Pa. OSU opened Saturday with a 2-0 loss against Big Ten-leading Penn State. The game marked the first shutout of the year for the Buckeye offense. Senior goalkeeper Lindsay Williams recorded three saves in the cage. OSU got back on the winning track Sunday with a 4-2 victory over non-conference opponent Lock Haven. Freshman Linda Haussener scored a career-high three goals in the win, giving her five on the season. Junior Saskia Mueller and sophomore Yesenia Luces each tallied two assists for the Buckeyes.

Scouting Michigan State
The 15th-ranked Spartans (10-7, 1-4 Big Ten), one year removed from an NCAA Final Four appearance, opened the season with seven wins in eight games before falling to No. 1 Wake Forest 2-0, Sept. 18. Michigan State has one Big Ten win on the season, a 4-1 defeat of Northwestern in their last outing Oct. 22. All four of the Spartans’ Big Ten losses have been by one goal, including a 3-2 double-overtime loss at Indiana Sept. 24. The MSU offense is led by senior forward Michelle Huynh-Ba with 11 goals and 23 points on the season. Other players with at least 10 points on the year include Inge Kaars Sijpestijn (20), Jessica Miller (16), Ashley Pernicano (12) and Breanna Harpstead (10). In cage for Michigan State is senior Christina Kirkaldy. Kirkaldy has played every minute for the Spartans this season, recording 81 saves and compiling a 1.56 GAA. The Spartans are coached by Michelle Madison, her 13th year at the helm. Under Madison’s guidance the Spartans have won the Big Ten Championship three of the last four years and have produced two All-Americans in each of the last three seasons.

Buckeyes vs. Spartans
Ohio State owns a 31-13-3 all-time record against the Spartans with their last meeting coming in 2004, a 3-2 OT win for Michigan State. In that game, Leticia Fragapane and Florencia Stier each scored one goal.

Buckeyes and the Big Ten
Many Buckeyes are among the statistical leaders in the Big Ten through Oct. 24.Senior Lucy Clayton leads the Big Ten in goals (16), shots (103) and shots per game (5.72). Clayton is tied for second in game-winning goals with three. Three OSU players hold the top three spots in total points. Yesenia Luces leads the conference with 38 points. Clayton is second with 34 points and Saskia Mueller is third with 31 points. Mueller and Luces rank first and second in assists with 17 and 16, respectively. On the defensive side, Jessica Gofgosky leads the conference with four defensive saves and goalkeeper Lindsay Williams is tied for third in the league with three shutouts and a 1.47 GAA. As a team, the Buckeyes lead the conference in goals scored (62), shots (328), assists (46) and penalty corners (165). OSU is second in scoring average (3.35) and defensive saves (4) and third in goals allowed per game (1.50).

Buckeyes and the Nation
Several Ohio State players rank among the top 15 nationally in their respective categories, as of Oct. 24. Saskia Mueller leads the nation with 17 assists on the season. Yesenia Luces’ 38 points are good for eighth best in the country while her 16 assists place her third. Lucy Clayton is sixth with 16 goals and 11th with 34 points on the year. Jessica Gofgosky is tied for 15th with four defensive saves on the year. As a team, the Buckeyes place 10th with a scoring margin of 1.89 goals. Offensively, Ohio State is ninth with a 3.35 scoring average, and defensively are No. 15, yielding only 1.46 goals per game.

Looking Up
No. 8 Ohio State is enjoying their highest ranking of the 2005 season in the STX/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll, released Tuesday. The previous best for the Buckeyes was No. 9.

Freshman First
Freshman Linda Haussener notched the first hat-trick of her career Sunday, in a 4-2 win over Lock Haven. Coming into the game, Haussener had only two goals on the season.

Hat Trick Trio
With the three-goal performance against Lock Haven, Haussener became the third different Buckeye player to record at least three goals in a game on the season. Lucy Clayton recorded hat-tricks on Sept. 14 and Sept. 20 and a career-high four goals on Oct. 16. Leticia Fragapane scored a career-best four goals on Sept. 23.

Best for Last
In the last home game of her career, senior Lucy Clayton scored a career-high four goals, leading the Buckeyes to a 6-1 victory over Central Michigan.

Streaking into the Record Books
With a 4-2 win over Kent State, Oct. 11, OSU broke the all-time team record of 10 consecutive victories set in 1976. During the 11-game winning streak, the Buckeyes outscored their opponents 46-14. OSU averaged 19.8 shots a game, while holding its opponents to 5.8 an outing. In addition, Ohio State took 106 penalty corners to its opponents 41.

To the Point
Four Buckeye players have at least 20 points on the season, led by Yesenia Luces with 38. Lucy Clayton has 34 points, Saskia Mueller has 31 and Leticia Fragapane has 21 points on the year. In addition, six players have scored at least five goals on the season. Joined by the four players above are Lauren Kruse, who has seven, and Linda Haussener with five.

Working Overtime
The Buckeyes have played in three overtime games this season, winning two. Ohio State defeated Louisville, 4-3 at home Sept. 14 and beat Miami 3-2, in Oxford, Ohio. The Buckeyes fell to Indiana 2-1, in double overtime, Oct. 14.

Going the Distance
Senior goalkeeper Lindsay Williams has played all but 10 minutes for the Buckeyes this season, yielding only 21 goals. Williams has also recorded three shutouts.

Closing the Door
The Buckeyes’ 14-4 record has been in large part because of its second-half dominance. Ohio State has outscored its opponents 28-11 in the second period this season, and 2-1 in overtime. The Buckeyes have outshot their opponents in the second half, 144-66.

Next Up
The Buckeyes will compete in the Big Ten Championships, Nov. 4-6, in Iowa City, Iowa. Games and times are TBA.