Ohio State field hockey coach Anne Wilkinson became the 15th Division I field hockey coach to win 300 games Friday when OSU took down No. 18 Indiana in overtime on the road.
Junior forward Peanut Johnson scored unassisted four minutes into the extra session to send OSU (6-9, 1-5) and Wilkinson home happy. Afterward, the team showered Wilkinson with an ice bath to celebrate the occasion.
“They were more excited about it than I was,” Wilkinson said of her young team. “I think they were also excited for us to win on the road. They just worked so hard for it. They played as a team.”
The Buckeyes fell behind 1-0 at the half against the Hoosiers (9-5, 1-5) after a goal from redshirt-junior forward Nicole Volgraf. OSU trailed, but it held a 7-3 shot advantage in the first half and came out aggressively in the second period.
Five minutes into the second half, forward Annabel Sams scored to tie the game at one. The freshman’s goal was her fourth of the season and her career.
“That was just amazing to be a part of it for (Wilkinson),” Sams said. “She puts so much effort into the team and to be able to do that for her was just amazing.”
The game remained tied throughout regulation despite multiple scoring opportunities. Junior back Emma Royce had a chance to put the game away with a penalty corner shot with three minutes left, but the shot was blocked.
Johnson’s overtime strike was the second instance this season when she scored to win a game in sudden death. The goal gave OSU its third overtime win of the season. She previously hit a game winner Sept. 14 against Ball State at Buckeye Varsity Field.
Johnson said picking up Wilkinson’s 300th win was all that was on the team’s mind Friday.
“We love her. She just has a way of bringing everyone together,” Johnson said. “I always want to work so hard for her and I just have so much respect.”
After Sunday’s loss to No. 12 Iowa, Wilkinson had an opportunity to sit back and reflect on the experiences she’s had coaching. It was the relationships with her players and staff she said made her feel best.
“I said to the team on the bus, ‘I feel so blessed to be able to work with such a great group of people,’” Wilkinson said. “They’re just working hard. And of course, I’ve had a lot of fun, a lot of memories.
“Just to see them work hard every day. It’s not about the games. It’s about the time we spend in our practices. We spend a lot of time together so you need to enjoy it.”
The Buckeyes couldn’t handle the team speed of Iowa on Sunday afternoon, falling, 4-2, after a comeback effort came up short.
The Hawkeyes (10-5, 3-3) scored twice in the opening four minutes to put pressure on OSU’s offense.
The first goal came from sophomore forward Stephanie Norlander, who darted down the right side of the field and scored unassisted for her 14th goal of the season.
Sophomore back Chandler Ackers followed that goal up just a minute and a half later, scoring on a rebound for her first goal of the season.
OSU trailed 2-0 at halftime, but it kept the Big Ten’s leading scorer, Natalie Cafone, in check.
In the second half, however, the junior forward from Fairfield, N.J., found some space in the OSU defense and scored from five yards out on a pass from senior forward Sara Watro.
The goal was Cafone’s 17th of the season and gave Iowa a commanding 3-0 lead. With less than two minutes to play and trailing, 4-0, OSU thrust a flurry of shots toward the net.
Johnson and Sams both were able to find the back of the net, but there was not enough time to continue the onslaught.
OSU is set to continue Big Ten play Saturday in Evanston, Ill., against No. 9 Northwestern at noon.