No. 24 Ohio State eyes weekend matchup against Central Michigan, Ohio

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The Ohio State field hockey team travels to Athens, Ohio on Sunday following its game against Central Michigan on Friday in Columbus. Credit: Zachary Rilley | photo editor

Ohio State is taking a break from its conference schedule this weekend with two matchups against teams from the Mid-American Conference.

The No. 24 Buckeyes field hockey team (5-5, 1-3 Big Ten) return to Buckeye Varsity Field to host Central Michigan on Friday and travel to Athens, Ohio to play Sunday at the University of Ohio.

The Chippewas (1-10, 0-3 MAC) are down 10 straight heading into Friday’s game against the Buckeyes. Their most recent loss was 6-2 to Saint Francis on Sunday.

Sophomore midfielder Claudia Thomas said Central Michigan’s record doesn’t change Ohio State’s approach.

“We don’t play differently because of our opponents,” Thomas said. “Don’t minimize, play up. Just play like we know how to play.

The Chippewas’ leading scorer is junior midfielder Kate Biglin, who had 13 points on five goals and three assists.

In their 11 games this season, the Chippewas have allowed 4.64 goals per game, compared to 1.10 for Ohio State. Graduated guard Grace Kim said the Buckeyes will look to attack offensively.

“We’ll probably be more aggressive,” Kim said. “We’ve had a bit of a goal drought in the last few games, so we’re really trying to capitalize on a team that’s been letting go a lot and kind of has some confidence.”

It won’t be the first time the Buckeyes have faced the Bobcats (5-5, 1-2 MAC) this season. The two teams faced off in an exhibition game on August 17, serving as the first of two preseason outings for Ohio State.

Thomas said she and the Buckeyes felt better prepared because they got to face the Bobcats early in the season.

“We play OU every year, so I think you get to know the teams,” Thomas said. “I really think it helps to play them at the start of the season, but it still doesn’t change anything based on our skill set and how we’re going to come into the game.”

The Buckeyes take on freshman midfielder Mijntje Ligtenberg of The Hague, Netherlands, who leads the Bobcats with 18 points, seven goals and four assists.

Kim said the Buckeyes want to build on their success from last weekend and pick up two more wins, and they don’t give in to non-conference opponents.

“We get stronger every weekend,” Kim said. “Everyone we face will be strong competitors, especially because everyone wants to beat Ohio State, so we know they really bring it.”

Ohio State hosts Michigan Center at 3 p.m. at Buckeye Varsity Field on Friday, which is available to stream on BTN+. The Buckeyes travel to Athens, Ohio to face the Bobcats at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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