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Nov. 2, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State field hockey team earned numerous Big Ten honors at the conference awards banquet Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich. Head coach Anne Wilkinson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year while senior Saskia Mueller was selected the overall player of the year and junior Yesenia Luces received offensive player of the year honors. A total of five Buckeyes also were named members of the All-Big Ten teams.

In her 11th season at the helm of the Buckeyes, Wilkinson led the team to a regular-season record of 14-2. OSU was 5-1 in Big Ten games to win its second conference championship and first outright title. Ohio State has been ranked in the Top 7 throughout the entire season. This is Wilkinson’s second coach of the year honor at Ohio State. She has a career record of 135-80 with the Buckeyes.

Mueller, a senior midfielder from Zuerich, Switzerland, earned her first overall player of the year award. She was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times this season and tied for second in overall scoring in the league with 32 points. Her 14 assists lead the conference and she ranks second in the nation with 0.88 assists per game. As well as her offensive contributions, she anchored the OSU backfield throughout the season, helping to limit opponents to just 8.4 shots and 1.39 goals per game. Mueller was also a unanimous selection to the All-Big Ten first team.

Luces, a junior midfielder from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, was named Offensive Player of the Year after leading the league in overall scoring for the second-consecutive season. She totaled 33 points for 2.06 points per game. Luces finished second in the Big Ten in assists (11) and tied for third in goals (11). She was named player of the week three times by the conference. Luces was selected to the first team All-Big Ten for the second year in a row as well.

Also named to the first team was senior forward Curlyne Wynn (Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago/North Eastern College). It was her third first team All-Big Ten honor, also earning the recognition in 2004 and 2005. Wynn totaled 19 points in the regular-season, just two shy of tying her career high. She has scored six goals and added seven assists.

Two Buckeyes were named to the All-Big Ten second team in Lauren Kruse (Toledo, Ohio/Ottawa Hills) and Linda Haussener (Baden, Switzerland/Kantonsschule Baden). It is the first all-conference award for both players. Kruse, a senior forward, set career highs with 19 points and nine goals. Haussener had a breakout sophomore season, tying for second on the team and in the league with 32 points. She also tied for second in the Big Ten with 11 goals and tied for fifth with 10 assists.

Senior back Florencia Stier (Buenos Aires, Argentina/Washington) earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State. Stier, a co-captain of the squad, has manned the OSU backfield in all 16 games and has been a key member of the team’s stingy defense. The student-athletes chosen for the award are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.

With the Big Ten regular-season championship, the Buckeyes earned the No. 1 seed and first-round bye in the conference tournament. Ohio State next faces the winner of the quarterfinal game between No. 4-seed Michigan and No. 5 Iowa. OSU plays the victor of that game in the first semifinal game Saturday at 11 a.m. at Ocker Field on the Michigan campus.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Saskia Mueller, OSU
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Yesenia Luces, OSU
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Heather Schnepf, IOWA
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Meghan Beamesderfer, IOWA
COACH OF THE YEAR: Anne Wilkinson, OSU

*All-Big Ten First Team
Haley Exner, Jr., goalkeeper, IND
Morgan Miller, Sr., defense, IND
Lydia Schrott, Sr., forward, IND
#Heather Schnepf, Sr., defense, IOWA
Lucia Belassi, Jr., forward, MICH
#Mary Fox, Sr., midfield, MICH
#Yesenia Luces, Jr., midfield, OSU
#Saskia Mueller, Sr., midfield, OSU
Curlyne Wynn, Sr., forward, OSU

Shaun Banta, Sr., forward, PSU
Annelise Legel, Sr., midfield, PSU
Kiersten Wood, Jr., midfield, PSU

*All-Big Ten Second Team
Caitlin McCurdy, So., forward, IOWA
Kadi Sickel, Jr., defense, IOWA
Kara Lentz, Sr., defense, MICH
Paige Laytos, Fr., forward, MICH
Beth Riley, Sr., goalkeeper, MICH
Ashley Pernicano, Sr., midfield, MSU
Floor Rijpma, Fr., forward, MSU
Amanda Care, Jr., midfield, NU
Meghan Small, Sr., midfield, NU
Linda Haussener, So., midfield, OSU
Lauren Kruse, Sr., forward, OSU
Jen Long, So., defense, PSU

# unanimous selection
* Additional honorees due to ties

Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Rachel Telian, Jr., IND
Kara Zappone, Sr., IOWA
Jill Civic, Sr., MICH
Amy Schneider, Jr., MSU
Lauren Przyborowski, Sr., NU
Florencia Stier, Sr., OSU
Casey Maser, Sr., PSU