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Coyle fights through injuries to lead Buckeye field hockey

This week, junior midfielder Aisling Coyle was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after scoring five goals in two games against Robert Morris University (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Indiana University. Coyle leads the Buckeyes’ field hockey team with 14 goals, scoring in 10 of 11 games.

Coyle has faced much adversity since her arrival at Ohio State in 2007 from Glasgow, Scotland.

“Freshman year was pretty hard because I had to take almost a year (off). I tore my ACL, so I redshirted,” Coyle said.

Coyle came back in the spring of 2008, shortly after finding out she had compartment syndrome, a compression of nerves and muscles, commonly in the lower leg.

“It was weird not playing (field) hockey for a year,” Coyle said. “I’ve been playing since I was 7 and never missed that much time,”

Coyle rebounded from her injuries and earned Second-Team All-Big Ten honors as a redshirt freshman in 2008 and First-Team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore in 2009.

OSU field hockey coach Anne Wilkinson said Coyle’s experience is what makes her a special player.

“She has played internationally at a lot of different levels,” Wilkinson said.

Another important trait Coyle brings to the team is her leadership skills. This season, Coyle’s teammates voted her team captain for the second year in a row.

“She’s really stepping up; she’s a real strong leader for us,” Wilkinson said after the team’s win over Robert Morris.

OSU is 9-3 and holds a 1-1 Big Ten record. Coyle said she believes the team can finish strong.

“Winning both the regular season and tournament for the Big Ten is not unrealistic for us. Hopefully from there, we can get a good seed in the NCAA Tournament, make a run to the final four and take it one game at a time after that,” Coyle said.

The Buckeyes play at home at 3 p.m. Thursday against Miami (Ohio).

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