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No. 18 Rutgers heads to Midwest for 2 matchups

The Rutgers field hockey team is heading out to the Buckeye Varsity Field to take on No. 21 Ohio State. The No. 18 Scarlet Knights (6-6, 1-3) will be playing their closest ranked match this season but during an away game. While Rutgers is 2-3 in away games, it is only 3-3 at home. 

They are fairly evenly split, and the Buckeyes (6-6, 1-3) are 3-4 at home, so this game is very closely matched up.

Going into the details of each team, the Knights have had some tough matchups in this season alone. They have gone up against eight ranked teams, and this game on Friday will be their ninth ranked game this season.

Out of those ranked teams, Rutgers has beaten two. First it was then-No. 24 Maine and also then-No. 6 Princeton, but every game in between those rankings have ended in a loss. 

But, both the Knights and Ohio State are 1-3 in the conference, which is a factor that will play into the competitive nature of this game.

For the team as a whole, the Buckeyes take the lead when it comes to goals scored per game. Ohio State makes 3.50 goals per game on average, while Rutgers makes approximately 1.58 goals per game. 

This was similar to the No. 10 Northwestern statistic, that made 3 goals per game. Against the Wildcats, the Knights lost with a final score of 4-1. 

On the other hand, Rutgers is right there next to the Buckeyes with a .636 shots on goal percentage. Ohio State just scrapes by for the lead with a .671 shots on goal percentage.

These numbers show that when the Knights take a shot, it will more likely be on goal than not. While on paper the Buckeyes have the slightly better hand, it has been that way for a lot of teams that Rutgers has gone up against and taken the win.

Moving into individual players, the first strong player that Ohio State has would be Mackenzie Allessie, who has the leading number of goals for the Buckeyes. Allessie has a total of 12 goals for her team, and she follows in second on the team in assists with five of her own.

Allessie was a top player in the nation for scoring goals in high school and continues to shine at Ohio State. Her shots on goal percentage is an impressive .723 with 34 shots on goal.

For the Knights, in the lead is fifth-year senior back Austyn Cuneo. Cuneo has 4 goals and six assists. She also has 23 shots on goal with a .676 percentage. But, she does not lead in goals. 

It is junior midfielder Katie Larmour who has 5 goals and one assist this season.

Larmour also leads Cuneo in shots on goal percentage. Even though she has 16 shots on goal, Larmour has a .762 shots on goal percentage, which tops Allessie of the Buckeyes.

While it appears as if Ohio State has the better players, the team just has more attempts. In the few shots Rutgers takes and the goals that it makes, the team is right there with the Buckeyes in precision and accuracy. 

A good example of this shows up in corners. The Knights have had a total of 71 corners this season, and Ohio State leads Rutgers by a measly two corners. This is such a small margin that shows the tight game coming up this weekend.

In the goal, there‚Äôs junior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz. The Knight comes in at the exact same place as Aaliyah Hernandez on the Buckeyes. 

Glatz and Hernandez are both at 52 saves for this season, and the opponents come in at 70 and 72 for saves by period for Rutgers and Ohio State, respectively.

Adding together the saves, goals per game, shots on goal percentage, and individual game stats, this will definitely be the closest game the Knights and Buckeyes play this season thus far.

For updates on the Rutgers field hockey team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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