No. 5 Ohio State (3-0) came away with a strong victory against No. 8 Colgate (1-2) in the Buckeyes’ home opener, winning by a score of 4-3.
“It was exhausting. Because emotionally, mentally and physically you are preparing,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “Then, it’s 60 minutes of a back and forth game. I saw two teams playing very well, but I told the girls before the game, if it’s a dogfight, I’d choose any of you.”
The Buckeyes found themselves down early when sophomore forward Coralie Larose struck for Colgate with a close-quarters goal 12 minutes into the first period. Larose was assisted by senior forward Shae Labbe and senior forward Bailey Larson
Just a minute and a half later, the Buckeyes tied the game up with a shot by sophomore forward Tatum Skaggs. Skaggs was assisted by sophomore forward Emma Maltais and senior forward Charly Dahlquist. This goal marked Skaggs third goal of the season in just three games played.
“Tatum has become a little more comfortable around the net in taking her shots when she needs to,” Muzerall said. “She’s scoring when we need her to and having Charly and Emma as her linemates helps that point production and they are very unselfish players.”
With just under five minutes left to go in the first period, Colgate took the lead again with Larson scoring this time and Larose getting the assist.
The game was tied up again just two minutes into the second period when Ohio State junior forward Rebecca Freiburger got a shot by Colgate senior goaltender Julia Vandyk. Freiburger was assisted by freshman defenseman Sophie Jaques.
Exactly seven minutes into the second period, Ohio State took the lead for the first time of the night when Dahlquist snuck a shot by Vandyk. Assisting Dahlquist on the play were redshirt junior Jincy Dunne and sophomore forward Emma Maltais.
“Charly is an underrated and undervalued player in the media,” Muzerall said. “She is a workhorse. She will do anything and everything that you ask. She’s relentless and headstrong. I’ve seen a tremendous turnaround in her game from last year and now she’s a go-to player that I can trust now in all systems of the game.”
Continuing the trend of trading goals, Colgate evened the game at 3-3 12 minutes into the second period with a goal by senior forward Jesse Eldridge.
Senior defenseman Lauren Boyle returned the favor in less than two minutes, coming off of a Colgate power play with her first goal of the season to give the Buckeyes the win with a 4-3 lead. Earning assists on the play were freshman forward Sara Saekkinen and Dahlquist getting her second assist of the night.
“Coming off of the penalty kill, they were getting comfortable sitting in the offensive zone,” Boyle said. “We have a very aggressive penalty kill so when we got back to full strength, it was an easy transition to just go hard right away. I saw an opportunity to join and just went and stayed in the middle. We have to be available to support each other.”
What was once an offensive shootout turned into a staunch defensive battle in the third period as Colgate attempted 15 shots to the Buckeyes’ 10, but sophomore goalie Amanda Zeglen defended well to keep Colgate from tying the game up, giving the Buckeyes the win.
“When it gets to the end of the game, if you are down, you have to play desperate,” Boyle said. “That’s a good team so they played desperate. They put in whatever they had to do to get try and get the win and we just stayed solid. You just got to protect the house, protect your goalie and protect the defense.”
Ohio State will look for the series sweep with the second game of the weekend series on Colgate on Saturday, Oct 6. The game is set to start at 3:00 p.m.