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Ohio State field hockey clamps down on offense and defense in 3-0 shutout of Rutgers

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OSU sophomore midfield Morgan Kile (8) carries the ball for the on Oct. 2 against Maryland at Buckeye Varsity Field. Credit: Whitney Wilson / Lantern photographer

OSU sophomore midfield Morgan Kile (8) carries the ball for the on Oct. 2 against Maryland at Buckeye Varsity Field. Credit: Whitney Wilson / Lantern photographer

For the first time since 1979, the Ohio State field hockey team defeated Rutgers on Friday afternoon at Buckeye Varsity Field by a score of 3-0.

The Buckeyes (7-4, 3-1) came prepared across the board, with the offense and defense working in cohesion to dispatch the Scarlet Knights (6-6, 0-5).

After scoring the game’s opening goal 10 and a half minutes in, sophomore forward Maddy Humphrey has now tallied at least one goal for all eight games she’s played in this season.

Senior co-captains Emma Royce and Peanut Johnson wrapped up the offensive attack. Royce, a back, converted on a penalty stroke in the second half, while Johnson, a forward, sealed the deal after netting a goal with just over a minute to go.

Defensively, sophomore goalie Liz Tamburro made seven stops, impeding several scoring opportunities from the Scarlet Knights.

OSU got on the board 10 minutes into the first half, when Humphrey scored from five yards out with an assist from freshman — and fellow Virginia Beach, Virginia, native — midfielder/forward Casey Cole.

Humphrey, who now has 51 total points credited to her so far in her career, said the team was ready to come out strong against the opponents.

“We knew this was going to be a really tough game,” Humphrey said. “We were ready to give it everything we’ve got and just use those basic skills to win and we did.”

For the remainder of the first half, both teams took five shots and each had a corner, but the score stayed stagnant at 1-0 despite Johnson’s efforts in front of the goal resulting in a penalty-stroke call.

Royce swelled the Scarlet and Gray lead when she scored her fourth goal of the year roughly halfway through the second period. With Tamburro’s six saves and Royce dishing out a defensive save in the second half, the Buckeyes were able to maintain their lead while locking down one of the Big Ten’s top scorers, Rutgers’ Nicole Imbriaco.

As the clock approached zero in the final moments, Johnson wrapped up the contest when she took a cross from Royce in the circle and scored in the lower right of the cage past Rutgers’ goalie Shevaun Hayes. The game-clincher was Johnson’s 81st point in her career, and seventh goal of the year.

Johnson credited the team’s cohesion and right mindset as for why OSU was able to secure its third shutout of the year.

“This game, more than ever, everyone just stepped up and played as a team,” Johnson said. “Having everyone involved and doing their part is always the goal, and that really happened today.”

The Buckeyes outshot the Scarlet Knights 14-11, while Rutgers tallied up three penalty corners to OSU’s two.

OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she was pleased with her team’s technique and positive attitude on the field.

“Once we scored that first goal we were really able to settle in,” Wilkinson said. “Once we got past that first line of their press, we were much more confident possessing the ball. Overall, we really played as a unit, we really looked good.”  

OSU is set continue its four-game homestand on Sunday against No. 11 Louisville for the annual Pink Game to raise awareness for breast cancer research. The game is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at Buckeye Varsity Field.

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