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Ohio State field hockey faces off against two top-15 opponents

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Sophomore forward/midfielder Maddy Humphrey during a game against St. Louis on Aug. 28. OSU won 5-0. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Oller Reporter

Then-sophomore forward/midfielder Maddy Humphrey during a game against St. Louis on Aug. 28, 2015. OSU won 5-0.
Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Oller Reporter

The Ohio State field hockey team is looking to add to its three game winning streak this weekend as they take on No. 15 Northwestern at home before traveling to compete against No. 6 Louisville.

The Buckeyes (3-3) head into a weekend of competition following a 2-1 victory in overtime against Miami (3-4) on Sunday, marking Ohio State’s third consecutive win in a five-game homestand. The game was a showcase of Buckeye fitness and skill, with junior goalie Liz Tamburro out-saving Miami 5-1 and freshman midfielder Adelaide Penzone scoring the winning point in overtime, marking her third career goal and securing her position as the third leading scorer among Big Ten freshman.

Friday’s matchup between the Buckeyes and the Wildcats (4-2) will mark the beginning of Big Ten play for both teams this season. Three of Ohio State’s last five Big Ten openers have weighed in its favor, including a 2-1 victory over Northwestern in 2011. Still, head coach Anne Wilkinson knows that the Buckeyes are going to have to bring a lot of intensity and focus to Friday’s game.

“You need to play 70 minutes because if you have a low and you’re not managing it, [Northwestern will] make you pay,” Coach Wilkinson said. “No matter what we do all week in practice, once the game starts it’s really about them making decisions for themselves and going out there and really competing.”

Northwestern heads into Friday’s competition having won four of its last five games, including an 8-0 victory over Colgate.  Isabel Flens, who has six goals and four assists, and Dominique Masters, owner of four goals and two assists, return as the Wildcats’ top scorers, leading an offensive line that averages 3.83 goals and 21.8 shots per game. Goalie Lindsey von der Luft maintains a .806 save percentage, along with a 1.19 goals-against average.

Louisville (6-0) remains undefeated, averaging 4.64 goals per game. Offense is lead by Minout Mink, who has eight goals and one assist. Goalie Ayeisha McFerran boasts a .857 save percentage and has only allowed three goals in the last six games. Ohio State junior forward midfielder Maddy Humphrey said that in order to get around the top scoring defense in the country, the Buckeyes’ offensive line is going to have to play its best game of the season.

“We’re really going to have to use each other, let the ball do the work and just really give them hard shots,” Humphrey said. “Probably the best shots we’ll have to hit at a goalie this year because they have such a strong defense.”

The Scarlet and Gray host Northwestern on Friday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. The team will then leave the confines of Buckeye Varsity Field and head to Louisville, Kentucky, to square off against the Cardinals on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.

OSU vs. Northwestern History

The Wildcats lead the series with a 30-27-2 record, with Friday’s match marking the 60th time the teams have faced off since 1981. The Buckeyes have lost the last three games against Northwestern, most recently in a shutout loss in the quarterfinal of the 2015 Big Ten tournament. Previous matchups include:

11/05/15: Northwestern 4, Ohio State 0 (Bloomington, Ind.)
10/23/15: Northwestern 2, Ohio State 0 (Columbus, Ohio)
10/25/14: Northwestern 4, Ohio State 1 (Evanston, Ill.)
11/07/13: Northwestern 2, Ohio State 3 (Columbus, Ohio)
11/01/13: Northwestern 5, Ohio State 0 (Evanston, Ill.)

OSU vs. Louisville History

Sunday’s contest will be the 26th time the Cardinals and the Buckeyes have faced-off since 1989. Ohio State leads the series 16-9, with Louisville emerging victorious from the teams’ last four games. The most recent matches include:

10/11/15: Louisville 1, Ohio State 0 (Columbus, Ohio)
09/23/14: Louisville 6, Ohio State 3 (Louisville, Ky.)
10/01/13: Louisville 6, Ohio State 3 (Columbus, Ohio)
10/22/12: Louisville 4, Ohio State 3 OT (Louisville, Ky.)
10/04/11: Louisville 1, Ohio State 2 (Columbus, Ohio)

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