The Michigan State Field Hockey team (1-5) took on the No. 17 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) at Ralph Young Field on Sunday afternoon. Although it was a thorough battle, the Spartans took a tough overtime loss, 2-1.
The Buckeyes traveled to East Lansing for the matchup Sunday. This was MSU's first conference match, which included an alumni night celebration honoring the Spartan Field Hockey alumni during the half.
Sophomore goalie Cecily Charles had some beautiful saves during the first period, and the rest of the team was on top of their defensive efforts to hold off Ohio State — specifically in the first quarter with a tip off the top of Charles' glove to save a huge opportunity for the Buckeyes.
The shots on goal during the game were in favor of the Buckeyes, having outshot the Spartans 21-8. Corners were also hugely in favor of the Buckeyes as well, 18-6.
The Spartans played incredible defense against the Buckeyes despite OSU's winning record, and their solid win this past week against the Michigan, 5-1.
Ohio State took the first opportunity to score, almost four minutes into the fourth quarter when senior forward, Makenna Webster broke the dry spell and made the game 1-0.
“We had a lot of defensive corners today,” Head Coach Hellen Knull said. “Some are repeat corners that happen, but other times that's on us, just our approach and positioning coming in, so that's going to be something this week (to work on).”
Spartan graduate student and forward Lena Kassel scored the tying goal with less than two minutes to go in the quarter. This goal would send the teams into a grueling overtime, with the anticipation of both fan bases high.
Less than four minutes into the 10 minute sudden death overtime, the Buckeyes took their win, the goal scorer being sophomore forward, Zella Bailey.
“Ohio State is a good team,” said Knull. “A big thing for us was stopping their transition in offense, which I think we did well today.”
The Spartans took the game seriously today, playing harsh defense and protecting Charles at all cost. While the game was close, it is still early in the season, and there are things to be worked on yet.
“I think we can get a little more depth, and maybe a couple more players in the rotation that we can think about going into next week,” Knull said. “Today was our first conference game so we have to learn from this and move into next weekend when we host Indiana.”
The Spartans will take on the Indiana Hoosiers at home Friday at 3 p.m. where they will be looking to take their first Big Ten win.
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