The No. 9 Michigan field hockey team overcame the aggressive Ohio State Buckeyes to win 1-0 in overtime Friday afternoon at Buckeye Varsity Field. With only 20 seconds left in the overtime period, forward Emma Way scored the game-winning goal on a pass from midfielder Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort.
The Buckeyes (4-4, 0-2 Big Ten) and Wolverines (6-2, 2-0 Big Ten) battled for possession throughout a physical game. Michigan controlled the ball most of the first half as it totalled eight shots to Ohio State’s one.
The Wolverines entered the game outscoring their opponents three to one on average. Their dangerous offensive attack, led by forwards Meg Dowthwaite and Way, has contributed 35 of Michigan’s 82 points on the season.
Coach Jarred Martin said that it took the Buckeyes a little while to get going. He was content with the solid defense in the first half, but wanted it to lead to more offensive opportunities.
“We made a couple adjustments and I was proud of how quick they made the adjustments,” Martin said. “And then from there I felt like we really took it to them and made the game really competitive.”
Ohio State looked like a new team in the second half as it aggressively attacked Michigan’s goal. The Scarlet and Gray had nine shots in the second half compared to just one from the Maize and Blue.
“We changed a little bit of our formation — talked a little bit about what our forwards were doing just to come up with the ball — ‘cause we were doing well on defense,” Martin said. “Now we just gotta turn that defensive stop into some offense.”
Changes in formation provided the Buckeyes with many opportunities to score as they spent most of the second half near the opposing goal. The changes did not worsen Ohio State’s defensive performance as it blocked Michigan’s attacks in both halves.
Ohio State goalkeeper Liz Tamburro had seven saves, including numerous diving stops and stops on penalty corners. She said the team felt in control against the penalty corners because of the 18 they defended against during a tough overtime loss to the Wildcats of Northwestern on Sept. 15.
After 70 minutes of regulation and the game still knotted at zero, Ohio State and Michigan geared up for a 15-minute overtime period.
“We were kind of expecting that (physical play) — every year we expect the fight from Michigan — they’re a tough team,” Tamburro said.
Michigan had five shots in overtime and Ohio State managed only one attempt despite many possessions near the goal.
Despite the disappointment of a tough loss, Tamburro was not disappointed in the Buckeyes’ effort.
“We left it all out on the field and I’m really proud of us and our attitude,” Tamburro said. “We didn’t give up that entire game and the ending was kind of unfortunate, but I’m proud — I think we worked really well together today.”
The Buckeyes suffered their second overtime loss of the season to a Big Ten opponent, but they look to learn from their experiences moving forward.
“I’m so proud of my team that I’m not worried about it,” Tamburro said. “Sure it was a loss, but we take away a lot of great things and a lot of things we can improve on — so I’m excited for Michigan State.”
The Buckeyes take on the Spartans (5-5, 0-1 Big Ten) at Buckeye Varsity Field on Sept. 24.