The Ohio State field hockey team entered the season with high expectations, having eight returning starters from last year’s team that qualified for the NCAA tournament, which was the fifth time in program history.

Fifteen-year head coach Anne Wilkinson recognized the potential strength of her team.

“We have a lot more weapons,” Wilkinson said, comparing this year’s team with other successful teams she has had in the past.

Wilkinson said some of the team’s goals include winning the Big Ten championship and making a run in the NCAA tournament.

The seventh-ranked Buckeyes opened the season 7-3, including key wins at Louisville, Duke and Wake Forest. The Wake Forest win was significant because “it was the team’s first win over them,” junior co-captain Aisling Coyle said.

Marring the Buckeyes early season success, however, was an upset loss at home to Northwestern in the conference opener Sept. 24.

“We didn’t recognize that team in the first half,” Wilkinson said, regarding how Northwestern took OSU by surprise.

OSU trailed 0-2 at halftime and rallied to tie the game in the second half before falling 3-2.

“The Northwestern loss has been the low point of the season so far,” senior co-captain Bri Doak said.

Despite the loss to NU, the Buckeyes still have potential for a great season.

“We still have a lot to play for. We have more Big Ten games left to make up for the Northwestern game,” Coyle said.

Eight regular-season games remain on the schedule, including five more Big Ten games, giving the Buckeyes plenty of chances to live up to their preseason hype.

OSU plays at Indiana Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on tape-delay Sunday at 1 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.