As the weather starts to get colder in Columbus, the Buckeyes are looking to heat up.
The No. 24 Ohio State field hockey team (3-5, 0-3 Big Ten) hosts Michigan State (4-4, 0-3 Big Ten) Friday and Kent State (4-4, 2-0 MAC) Sunday at Buckeye Varsity Field.
Both the Buckeyes and the Spartans come into the game looking to earn their first conference win. Senior midfielder Emma Goldean said Ohio State is treating Friday’s game as if it is the most important game of the season.
“We’re going full tilt,” Goldean said. “We’re treating Michigan State like it’s the one and only game. This is our most important thing right now.”
The Spartans lost four of their last five games after falling to No. 6 Penn State 4-0 Friday and No. 3 Maryland 7-2 Sunday.
Michigan State’s leading scorer is fifth-year forward Isa van der Weij who has eight points on four goals and no assists. Four other players have seven points this season for the Spartans.
Ohio State is scoreless in three-straight games, but junior goalkeeper Abby Danson believes that won’t last much longer.
“We’ve been working really hard this week, but I have no worries that against Michigan State our offense will be able to get it done,” Danson said.
Sophomore midfielder Hallie Brost leads the Buckeyes in points with six, coming from three goals.
The Golden Flashes come into this game after a conference win over Ball State 7-0 Sept. 23.
Kent State is led by freshman back and midfielder Maia Sarrabayrouse, who has 10 points this season from three goals and four assists.
Goldean said the Buckeyes aren’t focused on what their opponents can do, and they will play to their own strengths instead.
“We’ve had our own struggles,” Goldean said. “We are trying to just focus on what we can do and focusing on our game instead of on other teams and how they play. We’re going to try to bring our own strengths and focus on our attack this weekend.”
After losing to the Golden Flashes last season, Danson said the Buckeyes seek to prove themselves in this game.
“We’re looking to get revenge,” Danson said. “We’re going in with the mindset that we can’t underestimate them.”
The Buckeyes host Michigan State Friday at 4 p.m., broadcasting on Big Ten Network. Their game against Kent State occurs Sunday at 1 p.m. and will be available to watch on BTN+.