Ohio State women’s field hockey secured their ninth win of the season against Ohio University by scoring two consecutive goals in the final 20 minutes at Buckeye Varsity Field Sunday.
The Buckeyes came out of the gate running with the match’s first goal, made in the first 3 ½ minutes by graduate midfielder Leanne Bough. However, they soon lost momentum against the Bobcats’ tenacious defense.
“We were kind of in and out from what I feel our usual intensity levels are,” head coach Jarred Martin said. “I think when we’re in it, we’re great. It’s just more about consistency.”
After Bough’s goal, the match came to a standstill with three shots, zero saves and two penalty corners for Ohio State. The Bobcats countered with zero shots, two saves and three penalty corners.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of Ohio State to end the first half.
“I feel like every quarter we start off very strong and have a lot of intensity, but we need to continue communicating and hyping each other up,” graduate midfielder and back Julie Rodijk said. “Outside of matches, in practice, we really work hard and try to genuinely celebrate the little wins even when it’s not going well.”
After halftime, the Buckeyes turned the on-switch with newfound aggression in getting turnovers for their offense. Just when things were starting to look bright for Ohio State, fifth-year forward Katelyn Whittle scored the Bobcats’ first goal.
Just 45 seconds later, Whittle scored a second goal, pushing the Bobcats to their first lead of the day. Her performance led to a season high, scoring two goals in a single match.
The energy picked up for the rest of the third quarter as the Buckeyes proceeded with seven attempted shots with Rodjik tying the game off of a penalty corner.
“Once we got that equalizer goal from Julie there was a huge shift post-goal, heading into the fourth quarter,” Rodijk said. “We really controlled the play and did what I think we were used to doing.”
Rodijk said the team just needed to regain its belief.
“When we got that corner, I just took a deep breath and said, ‘Okay, let’s just turn around at this play,’” Rodijk said.
Both teams went into the final quarter with 2 points, and the nerves were high, especially within the crowd. The match was interrupted twice by officials telling spectators to calm down and keep aggressive heckling to a minimum.
“I don’t know what was being said,” Martin said. “I just want to make sure we keep this sport as fun and enjoyable as possible, still finding that passion but just making sure we do it in the right way.”
Not far into the fourth quarter, senior forward Makenna Webster scored Ohio State’s deciding goal that solidified its ninth win this season. After her goal, the Bobcats made no more shots, bringing the match to an end.
The Buckeyes will play again Friday against Iowa University at Grant Field for their fourth Big Ten match.