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Oct. 20, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 9-ranked Ohio State field hockey team (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) returns to Big Ten play to take on No. 6 Penn State (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten) at Noon Saturday in State College, Pa. The Buckeyes will play their last non-conference opponent of the season Sunday when they face the Lock Haven Eagles (11-4, 6-1 NEC) at Noon. Both games will be played at Bigler Field. The Buckeyes have a 4-1 record away from home this season.

A Look Back
The Buckeyes opened up last week with a 4-2 victory Tuesday over Kent State at North Turf Field, extending their winning streak to a school record 11 games. Four players scored in the win, led by junior Lauren Kruse who had one goal and one assist.

The Buckeyes had their record streak snapped Friday with a 2-1 double overtime loss against Indiana. It was the first loss for the Buckeyes since a 3-1 setback vs. Duke, Sept. 4, and their first loss in Big Ten play.

Ohio State got back on the winning track and completed a season sweep of MAC opponents following a 6-1 victory over Central Michigan Sunday. It was the Buckeyes’ final home game of year. Lucy Clayton led the Buckeyes with a career-high four goals in the win. Six players were honored before the game for Senior Day, as the Buckeyes finished their home schedule with a record of 9-2.

Buckeyes and The Big Ten
Many Buckeyes are among the statistical leaders in the Big Ten through Oct. 17.

Senior Lucy Clayton leads the Big Ten in goals (16), shots (98) and shots per game (6.12). Clayton is tied for second in game-winning goals with three.

Three OSU players take the top three places in total points. Sophomore Yesenia Luces leads the conference with 36 points. Clayton is No. 2 with 34 points and junior Saskia Mueller is third with 29 points. Leticia Fragapane is tied for 10th with 21 points.

Mueller and Luces rank first and second in assists with 15 and 14, respectively.

On the defensive side, Jessica Gofgosky leads the conference with three defensive saves and goalkeeper Lindsay Williams is tied for second with three shutouts. Williams is third in the league with a 1.41 GAA.

As a team the Buckeyes lead the conference in assists (42) and penalty corners (144). OSU is second in scoring average (3.51) and shots per game (18.06) and third in shutouts (3) and goals allowed (23).

Buckeyes and The Nation
Several Ohio State players rank among the top 15 nationally in their respective categories, as of Oct. 17.

Yesenia Luces’ 36 points are good for seventh best in the country while her 14 assists place her tied for third.

Lucy Clayton is tied for fourth with 16 goals and 11th with 34 points on the year.

Saskia Mueller is second in the nation with 15 assists.

Jessica Gofgosky is tied for 14th with three defensive saves on the year.

As a team, the Buckeyes place eighth with a scoring margin of 2.12 goals. Offensively, Ohio State is ninth with a 3.51 scoring average, and defensively are No. 17, yielding only 1.39 goals per game.

Scouting Penn State
The No. 6-ranked Nittany Lions (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten), are winners of 15 consecutive games after opening the season with a 3-1 loss at Old Dominion.

Penn State is unbeaten in conference play, recording victories over Northwestern (6-2), Michigan (3-2), Iowa (4-0) and Michigan State (2-1). Penn State is also unbeaten at home this season, boasting a 9-0 record.

The Nittany Lions’ offense is led by Shaun Banta and Annelise Legel with 29 and 28 points, respectively. Banta leads the team with 14 goals. Natalie Berrena and Kiersten Wood lead the team with seven assists apiece.

In cage for Penn State is Megan Akstin. Akstin has played in all 16 games, recording 54 saves and a league-leading six shutouts.

The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in scoring average (3.88), shutouts (7), GAA (0.86) and scoring margin (3.02).

Penn State is coached by Charlene Marett. Marett is in her 19th season as head coach at Penn State. Under Marett, five players have been named Big Ten Player of the Year.

Buckeyes vs. Nittany Lions
Ohio State owns a 6-26-2 all-time record against Penn State with their last meeting coming in the Big Ten Tournament last season. The Buckeyes won that game 3-2, and were led by Lauren Kruse who scored two goals. Leticia Fragapane also scored in the win. Penn State has won the last three regular season meetings.

A Look at Lock Haven
Lock Haven (11-4, 6-1 NEC) is the last non-conference opponent on the slate for Ohio State this season. The Eagles opened conference play with a 10-0 victory over St. Francis (Pa.). Their lone conference loss came to Rider University, 2-1, Oct. 7. Lock Haven played Penn State, Sept. 2, losing 4-1.

The Eagles offense is led by Blair Wynne with 20 points on the year. Five other players have recorded double-digit points on the season including, Nikki Sweger (18), Sarah Huber (18), Rebecca Steffen (11), Samantha Stoyer (11) and Mandy Daschbach (10 ). Steffen was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Week on Oct. 17.

The Lock Haven defense is led by goalkeeper Becca Yerkes. Yerkes has played in all 15 games for the Eagles, yielding only 14 goals and recording five shutouts.

The Eagles are coached by Pat Rudy. Rudy is in her ninth year as head coach and has posted an impressive 156-37 record.

Buckeyes vs. Eagles
Sunday marks the first meeting between the two teams since 1989. Ohio State owns a 1-5-2 all-time record against the Eagles, with their lone victory coming in 1989 by a score of 4-1.

Best For Last
In the last home game of her career, senior Lucy Clayton scored a career-high four goals, leading the Buckeyes to a 6-1 victory over Central Michigan.

Streaking Into the Record Books
With a 4-2 win over Kent State, Oct. 11, OSU broke the all-time team record of 10 consecutive victories set in 1976.

During the 11-game winning streak, the Buckeyes outscored their opponents, 46-14. OSU averaged 19.8 shots a game, while holding its opponents to 5.8 an outing. In addition, Ohio State took 106 penalty corners to its opponents 41.

To The Point
Four Buckeye players have at least 20 points on the season, led by sophomore Yesenia Luces with 36. Lucy Clayton has 34 points, Saskia Mueller has 29 and Leticia Fragapane has 21 points on the year.

Working Overtime
The Buckeyes have played in three overtime games this season, winning two. Ohio State defeated Louisville, 4-3 at home Sept. 14 and beat Miami 3-2, in Oxford, Ohio. The Buckeyes fell to Indiana 2-1, in double overtime, Oct. 14.

Going the Distance
Senior goalkeeper Lindsay Williams has played all but 10 minutes for the Buckeyes this season, yielding only 21 goals. Williams has also recorded three shutouts.

Three Buckeyes Honored
Three Ohio State players have received honors this season, beginning Sept. 18 when senior Lucy Clayton was honored as the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week, following her performance in two Buckeye victories over Louisville and Missouri State. Clayton notched her first hat-trick of the season, and the fourth of her career in a 4-3 OT win over Louisville. She followed with a team best 14 shots against Missouri State, a 2-0 Buckeye win.

Ohio State senior forward Leticia Fragapane was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and junior midfielder Curlyne Wynn was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Sept. 26.

Fragapane, from Mendoza, Argentina, led the Buckeyes with six goals in the three games. Fragapane entered her senior season with just four career goals and 13 points.

Wynn, a Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago, native, was the leader of the Buckeye defense that shut down all three opponents holding two squads to one goal each and Iowa to two scores. Of those four goals, one came on a penalty stroke and the other three were scored on penalty corners. Wynn helped the Buckeye offense against Michigan, scoring a goal late in the first half.

This is the second Big Ten accolade for Wynn, who was first honored Sept. 13, 2004.

In addition to Big Ten honors, Fragapane was named the National Player of the Week by womensfieldhockey.com.

Closing the Door
The Buckeyes’ 13-3 record has been in large part because of its second-half dominance. Ohio State has outscored its opponents 26-10 in the second period this season, and 2-1 in overtime. The Buckeyes have outshot their opponents in the second half, 121-60.

Next Up
The Buckeyes close out the regular season on the road against Big Ten foe Michigan State, Oct. 29. The game will be played at 11 a.m.