Field Hockey: No. 19 Ohio State set to battle two top-ten Big Ten opponents in weekend slate

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The Ohio State field hockey team huddles up during the Ohio State-Iowa game on March 19. Ohio State lost 2-1. Credit: Christian Harsa | Special Projects Director

The No. 19 Ohio State field hockey team is looking to keep the momentum going as they travel to No. 6 Northwestern Friday to take on the Wildcats. The Buckeyes will then challenge the No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes Sunday.

The Buckeyes (7-5, 1-2 Big Ten) start off their weekend road trip in Evanston, Illinois, as they go against No. 6 Northwestern. The Wildcats (10-4, 1-3 Big Ten) enter the contest having won their last game against Ball State but dropped their two previous Big Ten contests against Michigan and Penn State.

Ohio State last weekend went 1-1, falling to Indiana on Friday before defeating Ohio University 4-3 on Sunday.

The last time Northwestern and Ohio State  met was the Big Ten Tournament semifinal as the Buckeyes won 2-1 in extra time to secure the win.

Northwestern likes to get opportunities early and often as they lead the Big Ten conference in shots per game with 19.50. In contrast, Ohio State is eighth in the conference in shots per game with 12.

The Wildcats will look to redshirt junior forward Bente Baekers as she leads the conference in shots per game and is third in goals with 13.

Friday will be the 67th all-time meeting between the two schools. Northwestern holds a 35-29-2 edge over the Buckeyes.

Ohio State will then travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the No. 1 Hawkeyes Sunday.

Iowa (14-5, 5-0 Big Ten) is tops in the conference for a reason, being one of two remaining undefeated teams in the Big Ten and having an elite offense and defense.

The Hawkeyes are second in the Big Ten in goals per game with 4.08 and second in points with 143.

Defensively, Iowa is among the best in the country, allowing only six goals through 13 games.

Before the matchup Sunday, the Hawkeyes will square off with No. 2 Michigan on Friday.

Ohio State will rely on its strong defensive presence ahead of their matchups.

The Buckeyes lead the conference in saves with 60 and have one of the best goalkeepers in the conference.

Senior goalkeeper Aaliyah Hernandez leads the conference in saves per game and is third in goals-against average.

This will be Hernandez’s first game back after sitting out against Ohio University due to an illness.

The Hawkeyes hold a 51-15 edge in the all-time series. Ohio State’s last win over Iowa came in 2015.

Ohio State will play Northwestern Friday at 4 p.m. and will then face off against Iowa at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be streamed on BTN+.

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