The No. 6-ranked Ohio State field hockey team (11-3, 3-1) is riding a five-game winning streak and is poised to make a run at the Big Ten championship.
One of the reasons for the Buckeyes’ recent success is the key performances of sophomore forward Berta Queralt and freshman forward Paula Pastor-Pitarque. Queralt has scored six goals and Pastor-Pitarque has added three goals during the current winning streak.
The two are from Barcelona, Spain, and have been playing together long before they teamed up at OSU.
“We’ve played together for the last seven years, since I was 13 and she was 12,” Pastor-Pitarque said.
The two first played on the same national team before Pastor-Pitarque decided to join Queralt on the same club team.
The highlight of the pair’s Spanish careers was when they beat Germany for the bronze medal in the Under-21 European Field Hockey Championship.
“We beat Germany in overtime and I’ve never beat Germany before,” Queralt said.
After knowing each other for so long, the duo developed a solid chemistry both on and off the field.
As a freshman in 2009, Queralt led OSU’s team in scoring with 46 points and started in every game. This year, Pastor-Pitarque came to OSU because she wanted to study abroad and continue her field hockey career. Knowing the transition from Spain would be hard, Pastor-Pitarque felt more comfortable with her decision because Queralt was already on the team.
“We are really used to each other and it helps us on the field,” Queralt said.
Pastor-Pitarque added, “We have played for the same coaches for so long, so we’ve been taught the same things.”
OSU coach Anne Wilkinson has noticed the special bond between the two forwards.
“They have a sixth sense for each other as far as where they are on the field,” Wilkinson said.
OSU looks to continue its winning streak playing Michigan (10-5, 4-0) as 3 p.m. Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich.