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Aug. 9, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s Justin Cook, playing for the Central Florida Kraze, scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute to lead the Kraze to a 1-0 victory over the Boulder Rapids Reserves in the championship game of the Premier Development League Saturday night in Orlando, Fla. Cook was named the PDL Championship’s Most Valuable Player for his efforts in helping Central Florida cap off a 14-3-1 season and the championship of the country’s top Under-23 league for development of professional prospects. A native of Winter Springs, Fla. (Oviedo H.S.), Cook will be a senior for the Buckeyes this fall. In the PDL championship match, Cook’s teammate, Villa Mullings fired a shot that deflected off a defender and the goalkeeper that ended up at the feet of Cook, who put the loose ball away for the game-winner. “It was an amazing feeling,” Cook said of the game-winning goal that he scored just a few miles down the road from where he played high school soccer. “We’re a very close team – from the coaches and players to all of our family and friends. It was great to be able to share it with them.” “It’s exciting that Justin is returning to Ohio State for his senior year this fall,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “This is an indication that he is playing in good form and that he is on top of his game. He’ll make a big difference for us this fall and we’re looking forward to his leadership and having his presence up top for us.” In his career at Ohio State, Cook has scored 21 goals and collected 11 assists. He missed last season because of an injury but turned in a solid spring campaign with the Buckeyes and looks to be back to full strength. “I missed the first part of the PDL season because I was finishing school,” Cook said. “But it was great to get back into the season. My knees felt good and I felt like I was in great shape for the first time in a long time. I felt like I was back on top of my game. It was great that I was able to get some games under my belt this summer and this fall I hope to pick up right where I left off.” The Buckeyes open fall camp August 17 and host three exhibition matches before the 2004 season begins with the Ohio State Classic Sept. 3-5 when Wake Forest and North Carolina visit Columbus. “We have an excellent core of returning players,” Cook said. “With the team we will have this fall, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be in the finals of the Big Ten tournament. We have a legitimate chance of winning a league title like we did in 2000.”

### GO BUCKS! ###