The Ohio State field hockey team hopes to keep its momentum when it faces off against another team that is undefeated in conference play, No. 8 Maryland, this week.
Coming off a 2-1 double overtime victory last week against Penn State, the Buckeyes are now 2-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since 2011 and 6-3 overall.
Maryland (8-3, 3-0) — which is coming off a 5-1 victory against Michigan State on Sunday — currently sits in a three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten alongside OSU and Indiana. The Terrapins have combined to score 38 goals so far this season, 20 of which have come off penalty corners.
Coach Anne Wilkinson said her team has put forth a lot of effort in practice this week and that it will show on the turf Friday.
“At the end of the day it’s about who steps up and shows up on the field,” Wilkinson said. “I think with the hard work that our team put in this week, we’ll be prepared and ready to compete.”
As proof of their effort, the Buckeyes continue to rack up Big Ten Player of the Week honors. Sophomore goalie Liz Tamburro, senior forward Peanut Johnson and, most recently, sophomore back Caroline Rath have all taken home the title so far this season.
Johnson, who has 15 points on six goals along with three assists, said the team’s dedication and spirit give them an upper hand in succeeding on the field.
“Everyone’s just on their A-Game,” Johnson said. “The fact that freshmen, sophomores, juniors are all playing with so much heart is just really what’s setting this season apart from all the others.”
Coming into Friday’s game winning five of its last six, OSU is averaging 2.50 goals per game with 23 goals total. Alongside the strong offense, the Buckeyes’ defense leads the conference with 65 total saves.
Tamburro — who tallied a season-high 11 saves versus Penn State — said the defense has found its flow on the field and is finally meshing together.
“The defense has been working amazing together, we’ve made so much progress since the beginning of the season,” Tamburro said. “We’re all open with each other, the communication and trust has definitely come together.”
The Buckeyes are scheduled to face off against the Terrapins on Friday at Buckeye Varsity Field at 3:30 p.m.
Wilkinson and Maryland coach Missy Meharg used to be teammates at the University of Delaware on both the field hockey and lacrosse teams.
Following their contest against Maryland, the Buckeyes will continue Big Ten play against Rutgers at home. The game is set for Oct. 9, with faceoff being scheduled for 3:30 p.m at Buckeye Varsity Field.