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Ohio State women’s basketball, wrestling prepped to open their seasons

New faces and new facilities highlight their 2019-20 campaigns.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 28 Women’s Ohio State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NBA tipped off last week and college basketball isn’t too far behind. First up, Ohio State men’s basketball hosts an exhibition game against Cedarville Wednesday in Columbus ahead of its regular season opener against Cincinnati Nov. 6. Women’s basketball, meanwhile, plays its own exhibition game versus Urbana Nov. 3 and opens its regular season Nov. 10 against Valparaiso in Springfield, Ohio. Despite being the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament last season, the Buckeyes dropped the tournament’s opening game to Wisconsin, then subsequently fell in the first round of the WNIT to Morehead State in what was a disappointing end to a challenging rebuilding season.

Regardless, the squad has high hopes heading into the 2019-20 season, starting off with sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz. The native of Hungary was a Big Ten All-Freshman team selection last year, having led the Buckeyes with 11.7 points and nine rebounds per game. Last week, she was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team.

Juhasz will certainly be an important contributor on a team which is bringing in seven new freshman while returning just six veteran players.

Wrestling is also ready for the start of the season, scheduled to open Saturday at the Michigan State Open hosted in East Lansing. The Buckeyes were national runners-up last season in the NCAA Championships behind perennial power Penn State. It was the fifth-straight top-three finish for Tom Ryan’s squad, following the Buckeyes’ first-place finish in 2015.

It’ll be an especially exciting season for the squad, which will also be breaking in its new home in the Covelli Center this season with eight home matches. The Buckeyes will have to wait until their Nov. 10 dual versus Stanford for their first home-match, however.

The squad hosted the wrestle-off finals, essentially a scrimmage, in the Covelli Center this weekend, but these athletes have been fine-tuning their skills throughout the summer. Several of the top-ranked wrestlers on the team -- as well as some former Buckeyes -- have had active offseasons, with wrestlers competing internationally in the World Wrestling Championships in Hungary.

But now, back to in-season sports!

The 22nd-ranked field hockey team posted a strong weekend in an up-and-down season, sweeping two games this weekend over Penn State Friday and Kent State Sunday. On the road against the Nittany Lions, senior captain Esther Clotet Alsina scored her eighth goal of the season to put the Buckeyes up early. After Penn State tied the game in the 41st minute, Alsina rallied her squad again, assisting senior Whitney Harris on the latter’s goal to give the Buckeyes the win.

In the team’s second match of the weekend Sunday, the Buckeyes cruised to a smooth, 4-0 victory over Kent State. Sophomore midfielder Sina Schwinn and sophomore forward Katie Pyle scored early goals to put Ohio State up at the half, while Alsina and freshman midfielder Mackenzie Allessie tallied scores in the second to secure the victory.

With the wins, Ohio State improves to an even 8-8 on the season, including 2-5 in conference play. The Buckeyes are scheduled to wrap up their regular season against Michigan State on the road in East Lansing Saturday.

Ohio State women’s hockey split its weekend series with second-ranked Minnesota in Columbus. Kicking things off Friday night, the No. 8 Buckeyes posted a 4-3 win over the Gophers on the back of two goals from Minnesota-native Liz Schepers. The junior forward scored her first point in the first period to give the Buckeyes an early advantage, and capped things off late in the third after the Gophers had tied things up to secure the win for Ohio State.

Unfortunately, things did not continue so smoothly throughout the weekend for the Buckeyes as they fell 4-2 to Minnesota in game two Saturday. In that game, Ohio State once again struck first on a score from freshman forward Jennifer Gardiner, but the Gophers took control in the second and third periods. A final goal from Schepers late in the third was not enough to bring the Buckeyes back.

After the weekend’s matchups, the Buckeyes move to 5-3-2 on the season, including 3-3-2 in-conference. They’ll be back in action Friday and Saturday with a two-game series against Bemidji State on the road in Minnesota.

Men’s ice hockey recorded its first sweep of the young season this past weekend, recording two wins over Mercyhurst on the road. Opening up Friday night, the 15th-ranked Buckeyes rode to a dominant, 7-2 win over the Lakers. Senior defenseman Wyatt Ege led his squad with a hat trick in the outing, and the Buckeyes had four power play goals in all. Perhaps even more impressive was that Ohio State managed to score all seven of its goals in the final two periods.

Saturday’s matchup was somewhat more contentious, as the Buckeyes finished with a 3-1 victory. Sophomore forward Gustaf Westlund recorded two goals on the day, and senior forward Carson Meyer added one of his own to secure the Buckeyes’ win.

With the wins, the Buckeyes improve to 4-1-1 as they head into conference play this weekend with a two-game series against Michigan in Columbus.

The pistol team also posted another victory on the young season, winning its sixth-straight Rocky Mountain Invitational. The squad came in first place in air, sport and standard events, sweeping the weekend’s field which featured teams from the Coast Guard, Texas A&M, Army, Utah and North Dakota State. The team will have a week off before heading to the Naval Academy to take on the Midshipmen Nov. 9-10.

In other news from the weekend:

  • Women’s golf has its final tournament of the fall season this week as the squad travels to the Bahamas ahead of the White Sands Invitational in Nassau. In all, 15 teams are scheduled to participate in the tournament. After this week’s tournament, the squad will break from competition until February.
  • Women’s volleyball fell to No. 17 Illinois 3-0. Ohio State now sits at 11-11 overall, but looks to get back to winning ways when the team heads to No. 7 Minnesota next week to take on the Gophers Wednesday. The team is also scheduled to return home to face No. 8 Wisconsin Saturday.
  • Women’s soccer faced its fourth overtime match in five games, but even 110 minutes wasn’t enough to beat Iowa on the road. The Buckeyes fell 2-1, with their lone goal of the day coming from senior defender Marike Mousset. With the loss, Ohio State falls to 4-8-4 overall as they head into their final regular season match of the year against No. 10 Wisconsin.
  • Men’s soccer also fell, as No. 22 Maryland cruised to a 2-0 win in Columbus Friday. The Buckeyes now sit at 6-8-1 overall, including 1-4-1 in conference. Next up, Ohio State is scheduled to travel to No. 10 Indiana Tuesday