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COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State senior midfielder Lara Dickenmann was honored as the Most Valuable Player and the Offensive MVP of the 2007 women’s soccer team at the team’s annual awards banquet, held Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

Dickenmann, an international business major from Kriens, Switzerland, led the Buckeyes to the Big Ten tournament championship game and to their fourth NCAA tournament appearance this past season with 16 points, including a team-best eight assists.

“Being named team as well as offensive most valuable performer during her senior season is a fitting ending for Lara’s Ohio State career,” Ohio State head coach Lori Walker said. “She helped this program reach new heights as a freshman when we won three games in the NCAA tournament and played for a College Cup berth, and to lead us back to the NCAA tournament as a senior was a true testament of Lara’s and our seniors’ determination and will to win.”

Lauren Steuer, a red-shirt freshman from Cincinnati and McNicholas High School, was chosen as the team’s Most Valuable Player on defense. Steuer, who can play in the midfield or backline, started 22 of the team’s 23 games this season and, in addition to providing a tough defensive presence, contributed two assists.

Courtney Jenkins, a freshman from Dublin Coffman High School, was named the team’s Most Improved Player. Jenkins contributed four goals and an assist for nine points and she started 19 times this past season.

The evening also included additional honorees and awards.

  • Freshman Lauren Beachy, from Loveland, Ohio and Winton Woods H.S., received the Elisa Hamilton Buckeye Fury honor, an award that praises those who demonstrate the highest degree of commitment on the pitch.
  • A Coaches’ Award was presented to senior Carla Arbulu, from Grover Beach, Calif. A talented performer who played in 73 games throughout her career, Arbulu was limited to 16 games this season due to injury. She was most productive in her 14 starts, though, with two goals and three assists to rank sixth on the team with seven points.
  • Alyx Portier was also a recipient of a Coaches’ Award. The senior from Columbus and Whetstone H.S. was a reserve player who had a unique and most-positive presence on the team.
  • Captains Awards were presented to Dickenmann, Amanda Ball and Keiana Mitchell. Ball, from Centerville, Ohio, was twice the recipient of the Big Ten Conference Sportsmanship Award. She played in 55 games throughout her career and started 41 times and had a goal and three assists as a senior. Mitchell, from Cincinnati, played in 82 games over her career with 61 starting assignments. She had four goals and six assists for 14 career points.

The 2007 team featured six seniors: Arbulu, Ball, Dickenmann, Mitchell, Portier and Kate Linehan, from Columbus and Watterson H.S., who played in four games this season and is now preparing to attend medical school.

Walker and the Buckeyes are in the middle of their spring practices. The team will host Cincinnati at 3 p.m. Sunday in an exhibition contest at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

###OhioStateBuckeyes.com##