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Ohio State field hockey team falls short in Final Four

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The No. 7-ranked Ohio State field hockey team (18-5) finished the program’s most successful season on Friday after losing in the NCAA Tournament semifinals 3-1 to the No. 1-ranked University of Maryland (22-1).

“Maryland made some adjustments, and we had a hard time managing their numbers through the midfield,” OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said in the postgame press conference. “They’re a very strong team. There is a reason they are the No. 1 team in the country.”

Senior forward Jena Cacciatore gave OSU an early 1-0 lead scoring four minutes into the first-half. Maryland senior attacker Katie O’Donnell tied the game 12 minutes later, and the game remained tied at halftime. O’Donnell scored two more goals as the Maryland defense shut out OSU in the second half, giving the Terrapins a 3-1 victory.

“We did a good job marking (O’Donnell), but that Maryland team is awesome,” OSU junior midfielder Aisling Coyle said.

Despite the loss, the OSU players consider their season a success. OSU won its third regular-season Big Ten Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time in program history. The 18 wins are a single-season record for the Buckeyes.

“We have said time and again that (the Final Four) was our goal at the beginning of the season and we worked all year to accomplish that,” Cacciatore said. “We had so much faith in each other, and that really kept us going all season. We are just so thankful and proud to be here.”

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