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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State opens the 2009 women’s lacrosse season this weekend with games at American and George Washington in Washington, D.C.

The Buckeyes begin play Friday, Feb. 13, with a match at American at 3 p.m. Ohio State was a 14-3 winner over the Eagles last season in Columbus. American, which plays in the Patriot League, was 8-10 last season.

On Sunday, Feb. 15, Ohio State visits George Washington for a 1 p.m. contest. This will be the first meeting between the two schools. The Colonials, which play in the Atlantic 10 conference, were 5-11 last season.

The Buckeyes return 17 letterwinners from the 2008 squad, which finished with a 10-8 mark and placed fourth in the American Lacrosse Conference. Returnees Brittney Zerhusen and Maghan Beaudrault (ALC Rookie of the Year) were all-ALC selections last season.

IN 2009
Ohio State enters the program’s 14th season with a squad deep in talent and experience as 17 letterwinners, including 10 starters, return for the 2009 season. In addition, the veteran Buckeyes will be complimented with nine capable freshmen this year. The team, which went 10-8 overall and 1-3 in American Lacrosse Conference play in 2008.

THE SCHEDULE
Competing in one of the nation’s toughest leagues, Ohio State has its work cut out in 2009; two conference foes advanced to the NCAA tournament last season, including defending national champion Northwestern. The Buckeyes hope a solid core of experience and talent will take this team far. In nonconference action, the squad will face tough opponents in North Carolina, Maryland and Notre Dame in addition to the always difficult conference schedule including Northwestern, Penn State, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt.

HONOR ROLL
Ohio State has met the grade off the field as well. Ten members of the Buckeye women’s lacrosse program were honored by the American Lacrosse Conference as part of its 2008 academic honor roll. The Ohio State players honored were Kacie Caldwell, Rachael Cornicello, Kristen Gilwee, Libby Graf, Rachel Hawes, Mallory Mayhew, Margaret Prunte, Amanda Shimp, Lauren Sterner and Keri Yourick.

COACH SUE STIMMEL
Beginning her 14th season as head coach of the Buckeyes, Sue Stimmel brings a 102-98 record at Ohio State into the 2009 campaign. Her career coaching record is 178-116 including six years at Denison. Stimmel was president of the Midwest Lacrosse Association from 1991-98, serving as a member of the executive board for the USWLA.  She is a past chair of the mid-Atlantic NCAA Regional Advisory Committee and the Division I Vice-President of the IWLCA. Stimmel is the current chair of the IWLCA Ethics Committee. In 2000, Stimmel was inducted into the Ohio Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame.

Stimmel welcomes two new assistant coaches to the Buckeye bench this season: Amanda Barnes and Gregg Gebhard.

NEXT UP
Ohio State visits Notre Dame on Sunday, Feb. 22, for a 1 p.m. contest.