Less than 48 hours after braving harsh elements to defeat Indiana the lady Buckeyes were back on Ocker Field in Ann Arbor to play their biggest rival, the Michigan Wolverines. The field was still wet from the cold rains that had been falling and the game-time temperature was only 44 degrees. But the Buckeyes excitedly took the field against the number 3 team in the nation in the Big 10 tournament quarterfinal matchup.
With their grey uniforms on the Buckeyes took control of the ball first and both teams played very solid careful defense throughout the beginning of the first half of play. Neither team was able to get the ball upfield easily and was unable to get a shot on goal until about 6 minutes in when Michigan was able to get a shot off but Buckeye Senior goalkeeper Liz Tamburro was able to make the big save. A few minutes later Tamburro would come up big again making 2 outstanding saves at point blank range.
With halfway through the first half, Tamburro had made 6 saves to keep the score tied at zero. With 4 minutes left in the first half, the first penalty corner of the game was called and Michigan took advantage as the ball just narrowly made it past her for the goal as she jumped outstretched to try to stop it, A couple minutes later with just 33 seconds left in the half, Michigan would score again off the corner again to take a 2-0 lead into the half.
But the Buckeyes would not give up and kept playing hard and put pressure on the Michigan defense. Tamburro would make several more outstanding saves but Michigan would score again on another penalty corner to move on in the tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Buckeyes. Michigan would outshoot the Buckeyes 16-4 and had 6 corners compared to only 1 for the Buckeyes. Michigan will face the Northwestern Wildcats next Saturday in East Lansing in the semifinal round.
As the Buckeyes left the field there were lots of hugs for one another and tears shed as the 10 Buckeye seniors closed out their college playing careers. But in spite of the sadness, the seniors consisting of Maddy Humphrey, Maartje Bongers, Lauren Carroll, Liz Tamburro, Natalie Faust, Sofia Haramis, Carolina Vergroesen Kelsey Nolan, Caroline Rath and Morgan Kile all took solace in the encouraging words of first-year Head Coach Jarred Martin. They also can take pride knowing they got to live their dreams on the field at one of the greatest and the biggest universities in the United States of America. All will go to graduate and do wonderful things in the world and will never forget the friendships and memories they made and shared.
The Buckeyes finished the season 10-9, their best record since the 2012 season and some of the players made a big mark on the program adding their names in the record books. Humphrey, Tamburro, and Rath each etched their names all over the Ohio State record book. Tamburro ends her career with 436 career saves, the fourth most in program history. Her seven total saves in the game Sunday pushed her past Andie Dunbar (1976-79) for the No. 4 spot.
Rath closed her career by starting in 68 career games and recording 17 defensive saves in her career, the fourth most ever by a Buckeye.
Humphrey capped off an excellent four-year career with 43 career goals, the eight most in program history. In addition to ranking high on the career goals list, her point total of 114 will go down as the seventh most in the record book.
The Buckeyes will be a very young team next season as they will only have 3 seniors, Casey Cole, Courtney Daniels, and Hannah Pany. But with new recruits and a great underclassmen group, the Buckeyes will be hoping for another great season.