Photo courtesy of Ohio State Athletic Department
The No. 18 Ohio State field hockey team left State College, Pa. posting a 2-0 shutout against the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions Saturday.
By knocking off a top 10 opponent, the Buckeyes (10-7, 3-2) are now tied for second place in the conference standings heading into the final week of the regular season.
Junior forward Berta Queralt scored the first goal of the match to get the Scarlet and Gray off to a quick start. The Buckeyes added a goal in the 52nd minute from senior back Jenn Sciullu, but Queralt’s goal was all the Buckeyes would need.
With the win, OSU now has a 5-1 record on the road.
“It was really important to get this win on the road coming off of two conference losses,” senior goalie Ally Tunitis said. “We knew what we were going up against. We played our hardest.”
The Buckeyes quick start came when Queralt notched the first goal at the 10:33 mark off of a penalty corner. Sciulli assisted on the goal.
The rest of the first half remained scoreless as the stout OSU defense was faced with pressure by the Penn State attack, Tunitis helped the Buckeyes escape with the lead.
Tunitis notched her third shutout of the season and is now third on the OSU all-time shutout list with 13.
“It felt really good,” Tunitis said. “It’s always really good to have no goal scorers, as it makes it that much sweeter. It is a confidence booster.”
In the second half, Sciulli notched the second goal of the match at the 52-minute mark on a penalty corner. The defensive back now has a career-high 14 points on the season.
The senior back has been known for her defensive talent, but her offensive play was what set up the Buckeyes for a win.
“I would be scared if I was playing against us and saw me running full speed setting up for a shot,” Sciulli said. “It was a big play for us.”
The Buckeyes defense protected the two-goal lead despite Penn State’s numerous opportunities in the final minutes. Tunitis finished the game with six saves.
“Our defense was unstoppable today,” Sciulli said. “We had one goal in mind and that was to keep the ball out of the cage.”
The win sends OSU into its regular season finale against Northwestern on Friday in Evanston, Ill., at 4 p.m. on a high note. Big Ten Tournament play begins Nov. 3., in State College, Pa.