Time and change will surely show this weekend for the four seniors of the Ohio State field hockey team as they play their last two home games at Buckeye Varsity Field for senior weekend.
As the season quickly approaches the long awaited tournament time, energy will be high as OSU (8-6, 4-2) faces off against No. 16 Northwestern (10-6, 3-3) on Friday and nonconference opponent California (9-5, 4-1) on Sunday.
Coming off of their first win against Iowa on Sunday since 2010, the Buckeyes are moving forward toward with their eye on the Big Ten prize — especially the graduating players.
Co-captains and seniors Peanut Johnson and Emma Royce said they look forward to wrapping up on a good note and expect everyone to truly give it their all.
“I just want to leave with a good feeling,” Johnson said. “It’s the last two home games so everything’s sinking in, and I just definitely want to play the absolute best that I can”.
Royce agrees, recalling her early years on the team when she gave her all for her older teammates.
“I just remember when I was a freshman, sophomore, junior, having the feeling of wanting to give everything for those people who are about to leave,” Royce said. “So hopefully we see that extra push from them.”
Northwestern’s strong season is being seen as welcome competition from the Buckeyes. OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she looks for her team to stand up to the challenge.
“I like our matchup with Northwestern because we usually have a really competitive game,” Wilkinson said. “We both have a lot at stake, it’s the Big Ten. If we can maintain possession and finish our chances we’ll be all right.”
The 19th-ranked Wildcats are coming off a shutout 3-0 victory against Michigan State on Sunday, leading with shots 25-1, and penalty corners 19-0. Their trek to Columbus on Friday will be their final Big Ten game of the season.
Royce said she has no doubt that the Buckeyes are fully prepared both mentally and physically to successfully take on both the Wildcats and the Golden Bears this weekend.
“Northwestern has a strong season every year, we’re by no means underestimating them,” Royce said. “But at the same time we have every faith that we’re going to come out with two wins this weekend.”
The Buckeyes are set to face off against Northwestern on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and California at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Peanut Johnson, forward, Dayton, Ohio
- Two-time All-Big Ten selection
- Two-time second-team all-National Field Hockey Coaches Association West Region
- Has started 56 of 69 career games with 33 goals and 20 assists for 86 points
- Ranks ninth in the Big Ten in goals (nine)
- Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 16)
- Three times this year has had five points in a game
- Goals in six games this year (OSU is 5-1 in those contests)
- Team captain in 2015
Emma Royce, Back, London, England
- 2013 Big Ten all-tournament team
- Two-time Big Ten preseason watch list choice
- Two-time team captain
- Has started 67 of 68 career games
- Team leader this year with five assists
- 13 goals and 12 assists in her career for 38 points
- Four multi-point games this year (OSU is 4-0 in those contests)
- Team captain in 2015
Sydney Stype, goalkeeper, Upper Arlington, Ohio
- Three-time Academic all-Big Ten (2012, 2013, 2014)
- Four-time NFHCA National Academic selection (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- Four-time OSU scholar athlete (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- Appeared in games during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Annie VonderBrink, forward/midfield, Kettering, Ohio
- Academic all-Big Ten (2013)
- OSU scholar athlete (2012, 2013)
- NFHCA National Academic Squad (2012)
- Veteran of 40 career games
- Two goals and two assists for six points
- Scored this year in the season opener against Saint Louis.