Jennifer Jung/ Lantern photographer
Senior forward Danica Deckard is athletically explosive on the field.
“Her first three steps will eliminate most defenders,” said women’s field hockey coach Anne Wilkinson.
Deckard has led the Ohio State field hockey team’s offensive attack in previous years, and her senior campaign is shaping up to be her best campaign yet.
Last season, Deckard earned second team All-Big Ten honors and led the Buckeyes in goals, netting 11 scores in 20 games. In the nine games she has played this season, Deckard has already amassed 10 goals.
“She’s really very strong, a tough player to play against and she’s a goal scorer. She loves to find the back of the net and if there is a will there is a way for her,” Wilkinson said.
Deckard does not take any credit when she talks about her wealth of goals, though.
“Yeah, the goals are going in, but it’s easy when you have the people around you that are getting you the ball in the right place and the right time,” Deckard said.
Wilkinson recruited Deckard out of Selinsgrove Area High School in Selinsgrove, Pa., and has seen her advance in her OSU career. She said Deckard’s strength and dynamic play stands out.
“Her physicality, she is just really very strong,” Wilkinson said. “She gets a good clean reception on it, she’ll take off on you.”
During their first four games, OSU totaled four goals and Deckard was the lone source of offense, scoring all four unassisted.
After the 2-2 start, Deckard was reunited with fellow senior forward Berta Queralt who returned from time with the Spanish U-21 national team.
“It’s been four years, we know a lot about each other, where we are going to move. It’s great to have one of your classmates that is also on your line,” Queralt said.
Queralt has assisted Deckard on two of her 10 goals and Deckard has assisted Queralt on two of her six goals.
Deckard’s collegiate success extends beyond the field. She is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Deckard’s ultimate goals for this year are the same as they’ve been most years, but the senior is not looking too far into the future.
“Our goal is always to win the Big Ten outright and then go to NCAAs,” she said, “but we’re really just taking one game at a time and trying to win each game.”