May 23, 2005
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer program celebrated the many accomplishments achieved by the 2004 team at its annual banquet Friday in the recruiting center at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes turned in the best season in the 11-year history of the program, posting a 19-4-3 overall record en route to winning the Big Ten tournament championship and reaching the national quarterfinal round of the NCAA championships. In their third-consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament, Ohio State established all-time numbers in goals (62), assists (63) and shutouts (13).
Nine seniors celebrated the conclusion of their collegiate careers that saw the Buckeyes set new standards. Among the class that won 54 games in four season were co-captains Emily Gilbert and Erica Nollen, Kathy Fulk, Paige Harrison, Emily Haynam, Jennifer Heaney, Tara Latella, Heather Miller and Elizabeth Mumley.
Nollen was awarded her second-straight Most Valuable Player award as she has helped the Buckeye defense post all-time lows in goals against average in each of the last two seasons. In 2004, the OSU backline allowed just 18 goals in 26 matches for a 0.67 goals against average and a program-best 13 shutouts. Nollen, who started all 89 games of her career, also garnered 2004 Defensive MVP accolades.
Lara Dickenmann, the 2004 Soccer America and Soccer Buzz Freshman of the Year, added offensive MVP honors to her many postseason awards after her record-breaking first year with the Buckeyes. Also the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Dickenmann set all-time OSU standards with team bests in points (38), goals (13) and assists (12). Lisa Grubb and Emily Francis, who were named co-captains for the upcoming 2005 season, shared the Buckeye Fury award, which honors the student-athlete that exemplifies heart, work rate and overall dedication to the program. Grubb, who has a pair of team offensive MVP awards in her career, tallied six game-winning goals in her record-breaking 2004 season, including the deciding strike in the “Sweet 16” win over Tennessee. The Portage, Mich. native completed the season with career bests in goals (12), assists (10) and points with 34. Grubb’s 12 goals helped her eclipse the career mark at Ohio State. She finished the season with 31scores for her career, besting the 30 goals posted by former Buckeye Lisa Suttmiller from 1994-97.
Francis teamed with Nollen and two-time All-American Melissa Miller to set defensive records this season. Francis has started 46 of 47 Ohio State matches the last two seasons and helped the Buckeyes hold opponents to 0.77 goals per contest in her freshman campaign of 2003.
Gilbert received the Coaches award for her outstanding leadership in the midfield. The Cincinnati native played an integral hand in Ohio State record-setting offensive and defensive production.
Junior Megan Stickler toted the Most Improved Player of the Year after seeing action in 25 of 26 games and contributing three points.