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Buckeyes playoff hopes slowly dwindling down
The Ohio State field hockey team will now be waiting on the edges of their seat Tuesday night when they will be finding out if they claimed one of the at-large bid into the 2011 NCAA Championships.
The Buckeyes (12-8, 4-2) fell to the host-school, Penn State, 1-0 in a defensive battle on Friday afternoon. By losing in the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes will now need their season resume to make their case as they now stand on the bubble of being a tournament team.
The Scarlet and Grey advanced to the semifinals after they defeated Michigan State, 2-1, just the day before when they scored two second-half goals against the Spartans to pave their road to their eventual loss to the Nittany Lions in the next round.
The Buckeyes play was play was hindered by the strong Nittany Lions defense, which ranks at the top of the conference.
“It’s tough when you are going against a goalie like theirs [Ayla Halus], who was just selected as First Team All-Big Ten this season,” senior captain Ally Tunitis said. “They are a really good team, but we played to the best of our ability.”
It was clear heading into the Big Ten tournament that the team truly needed to capture the title as the No. 2 seed and a frontrunner to make them a lock to be in the NCAA Championships.
The automatic bid is what we are going for, head coach Kendra Wilkinson said prior to the tournament.
All the Buckeyes can do now is sit and wait as they will be unsure of the future of their season until the selection show, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, with a live steam on NCAA.com.
“It was unfortunate it had to end on one stroke,” Tunitis said. “If we don’t get the bid to the tournament, we will still be proud of how we played.”
Penn State will now face top-seeded Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday in the championship game as the Buckeyes will await their destiny.