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Field hockey: Ohio State set to face No. 6 Maryland, Rutgers

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OSU junior forward/midfield Maddy Humphrey (23) protects the ball from California sophomore midfield/back Mara Gutierrez (24) and redshirt junior back Michaela Swensen (18) during a field hockey game on Oct. 25, 2015, at Buckeye Varsity Field. Credit: Lantern File Photo

OSU junior forward/midfield Maddy Humphrey (23) protects the ball from California sophomore midfield/back Mara Gutierrez (24) and redshirt junior back Michaela Swensen (18) during a field hockey game on Oct. 25, 2015, at Buckeye Varsity Field. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Ohio State field hockey is looking to make a mark on the Big Ten this weekend when it hosts No. 6 Maryland and Rutgers.

The Buckeyes (5-8, 0-4) have yet to win a Big Ten match this season and most recently lost to No. 5 Penn State, 2-0. Regardless, OSU’s offensive and defensive lines possess players that have made an impact on the team and in the Big Ten.

Junior midfielder Maddy Humphrey continues to dominate on the offensive line with 10 goals and six assists for a total of 26 points, giving her a sixth place ranking in the conference.

Freshman midfielder Esther Clotet-Alsina follows Humphrey with six goals and three assists and 15 points. Clotet-Alsina received her first Big Ten honor last week when she was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week.

Junior goalkeeper Liz Tamburro leads the Big Ten with 73 saves and an average of 5.6 saves per game. Tamburro is ranked sixth on OSU’s all-time saves list with a total of 320 stops made in her collegiate career thus far.

On top of individual milestones, 10 players on OSU’s roster have acquired at least one point this season. With such an active team, coach Anne Wilkinson said that the key to winning this weekend’s matches is for the players to stay connected.

“I think what we need to be able to do is pull each other along,” Wilkinson said. “When we play as a team, we can really come up with the ball a lot better.”

Maryland (10-3, 4-1) joined the Big Ten in 2014 and has proven to be a powerful force in the conference. The Terrapins are coming off their third straight win after defeating Michigan State, 3-1.

Maryland returns to Buckeye Varsity Field with redshirt senior and leading scorer Welma Luus, who has 10 goals and four assists for a cumulative 24 points this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Sarah Holliday has started in every game this season, completing 40 saves and racking up a .690 save percentage.

Following the matchup with the Terrapins, OSU battles the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-5,1-3), who head into the weekend after an overtime victory over Saint Joseph’s University.

Freshman forward Nikki Santore leads Rutgers’ offense with seven goals and four assists for a total of 18 points. Sophomore midfielder Linde van Schaik follows closely behind with 16 points, made up of seven goals and two assists. Goalkeepers Amanda Lamb and Shavaun Hayes each have a .622 and .750 save percentage, respectively.

According to Tamburro, a win this weekend would “mean everything” for the Buckeyes.

“We know that these games matter so much for us to get into the tournament,” Tamburro said. “We really want to get there and move past that, so (a win) would mean so much to us.”

OSU will play Maryland on Friday, Oct. 14 at 3:30 p.m. and are set to face the Scarlet Knights on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 1:00 p.m.

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