Grant Gannon / Lantern reporter
Of the seven true freshmen on the Ohio State field hockey team, one is standing out offensively and her name is a little nutty.
While the freshman forward’s real name is Elise Johnson, everyone knows her as Peanut.
“When I was born, my head was shaped like a peanut. So my parents called me that and next thing I know everyone is calling me that,” Johnson said.
While at Oakwood High School in Dayton, Ohio, Johnson was a three-time first-team All-Ohio player and attended a tryout with the the United States Women’s Field Hockey Association Under-19 national team . In her first year in collegiate field hockey, Johnson has played in 14 of OSU’s 15 games, starting six contests and coming into the game as a sub in eight of the others.
“She’s got a lot of great energy coming off of the side and it takes a while to learn the different systems that we play. I think she has done a great job adjusting,” said Buckeyes coach Anne Wilkinson.
Senior back and team captain Laura Napolitano said it seems the team always has one freshman that steps up to help out and Peanut has adjusted very well to the faster college game.
Johnson did not come to OSU expecting to have a big role with the team but just hoping to improve it.
“I just came here hoping to contribute any way I could. So if the goals come, that’s great, I just want to help out,” Johnson said.
Of all seven freshmen, she has the most goals and assists, with five and three respectively. She also leads the Buckeyes in shot on goal percentage, Johnson has 19 shots and 16 were on goal for a .842 percentage.
“She’s very, very dangerous with that ball. She can get in behind defenders very quick,” Wilkinson said. “She’s really tricky and hard to read when she has it.”
Her best individual game came on Sept. 23 during a 10-1 victory against visiting Missouri State. Coming off the bench, Johnson had an assist to sophomore midfielder Mona Frommhold for OSU’s third point and netted the seventh and eight goals for the Buckeyes.
“Peanut has really stepped up and made a big impact for our team so far. The pressure, I don’t think, gets to her and there have been times that we’ve relied on her a lot,” Napolitano said.
OSU’s next game is scheduled to be against No. 7 Penn State on Friday at Buckeye Varsity Field.
“I’m excited just from hearing about it. I haven’t experienced it yet but I heard it’s a big rivalry,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a physical game, and just all around Penn State is a good team.”