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Aug. 27, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s soccer opens the 2003 campaign Friday evening at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium as the Buckeyes play host to Indiana State with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

The match will mark the beginning of Ohio State’s 10th season as a Division I soccer program. Accordingly, the Buckeyes will commemorate the accomplishment with a reunion celebration featuring halftime recognition of former players from the past decade.

“A Celebration of 10”
The Ohio State women’s soccer program will hold its “A Celebration of 10” reunion Aug. 29 and 30 to recognize the 10-year anniversary of the sport. Festivities will kick off Friday, Aug. 29 as the Buckeyes play host to Indiana State in the 2003 home opener.

The game will commence a two-day celebration of the tradition and excellence exhibited by the program over the past decade. Former players in attendance will be recognized at halftime, while notable players from each of the 10 seasons will be honored at a brunch-style banquet Saturday morning beginning at 10 a.m. in the Longaberger Alumni Center.

Former players also will have the opportunity to attend the season opening football game between Washington and Ohio State Saturday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m.

Since it’s first game September 5, 1993 – a 1-0 triumph over Dayton – Ohio State women’s soccer has competed in the top levels of the Big Ten Conference and the national scene. In nine seasons Ohio State has posted 14, 13 and 12-win campaigns and has culminated its rise to the top of the Big Ten with appearances in the conference tournament championship match in 1998 and 2002, winning the 2002 tournament title to earn the program’s first NCAA tournament bid. Notable Buckeyes from those squads who have helped build the Ohio State tradition will be honored at both halftime of the Indiana State match and at the ensuing banquet Saturday. Amongst the group are 1994 All-Big Ten performers Jody Stranges (1994-1997), a 2003 Ohio State Varsity “O” Hall of Fame Inductee and four-time all-conference honoree, Lisa Suttmiller (1994-97), OSU’s career points leader, and Bree Blakely (1993-96), the first Buckeye to earn First Team All-Big Ten status. 1995 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jennifer Plante (1995-1998) also will be honored, while 1998 All-Big Ten and Great Lakes Region selection Becky Borchers (1995-1998) will be on hand as well.

Last Week: Buckeyes Scrimmage Kentucky and North Carolina
The Ohio State women’s soccer team fell in two tight exhibition contests at the 2003 Soccer Showcase at Fort Wayne, Indiana. Following a 2-1 defeat Friday night vs. Kentucky, the Buckeyes held their own with perennial power North Carolina, as the Tarheels escaped with a 3-2 victory Saturday evening.

A first half goal by junior transfer Kathy Fulk led to a 2-1 North Carolina advantage at intermission before the Tarheels jumped ahead 3-1 midway through the second period. Sophomore forward Colleen Hoban helped the Buckeyes cut the UNC lead back to one goal after she tallied her first score of the weekend. Freshman defender Melissa Miller assisted on Fulk’s goal, while freshman Jackie Lafond aided in Hoban’s tally. North

Carolina ultimately held on for the 3-2 victory.

The one-goal loss served as Ohio State’s second of the showcase as the Buckeyes suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats Friday evening. Junior forward Liz Mumley contributed one goal against the Wildcats after receiving an assist from fellow junior Lisa Grubb.

A Glance at The Sycamores
Indiana State comes into the 2003 season looking to improve upon the 2002 campaign, where they finished 7-12-1 and seventh in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 2-5 record.

The Sycamores return nine starters, including 2002 All-MVC First Team selection defender Erin Willie, who is the first Sycamore to earn the honor, returns as the team’s top defense player. Willie was part of a defense that allowed only 10 goals during the MVC portion of the schedule. Junior forward Claire Hemkins returns for her third season. Hemkins has led the Sycamores in goals and points in her first two seasons.

The Sycamores are captained by head coach Vernon Croft. Croft, in his third season with the Sycamores and has compiled a 16-39-3 record. He has been at the helm of the Sycamore women’s soccer squad since its inception in 2000.

OSU vs. ISU
The Buckeyes and Sycamores will meet for the first time. Ohio State holds a 3-0 record vs. teams from the Missouri Valley Conference. The last meeting against a member of the MVC came in 1998 with the Buckeyes claiming a 1-0 win over Evansville.

Buckeyes Undefeated vs. MVC
Ohio State is unbeaten in contests with members of the Missouri Valley Conference. The first meeting was in 1993 against Creighton with the Buckeyes netting a 1-0 victory. OSU also has met Evansville twice, first in 1998 where the Buckeyes won 1-0 and in 2001 with OSU scoring a 4-3 victory.

OSU in Season Openers
The Buckeyes have had success in season opening contests, boasting a 6-2-2 mark overall in season openers. Recently, the Buckeyes have faltered in two of the last three season openers, including a tight 2-0 loss at No. 14 California Aug. 30, 2002.

OSU in Home Openers
Coming into the 2003 campaign the Buckeyes own a 4-1-1 record in season openers at home. The impressive mark is highlighted by shutouts in three of the four wins. The last coming vs. Wright State Aug. 29, 1999, a 3-0 tally.

The four wins have come against Dayton (1993), Louisville (1996), and Wright St. (1999 and 2001). The only loss came in 2000 against Oakland University. The only tie occurred against Colgate in 1997.

Wrap on Wright State
The Wright State Raiders come into the 2003 season after a 6-10-4 2002 campaign. The Raiders finished 1-2-3 in the Horizon League good for fifth place in the league.

The Raiders return seven starters including 13 letterwinners. WSU are led by Senior goalkeeper Emily Flohre, who had 113 saves to compliment four shutouts. Aside from Flohre the Raiders return All-Horizon League players; junior midfielder Mary Beth Young and junior defender Blair Kaminski.

The Raiders are led by seventh-year head coach Scott Rodgers. Rodgers has amassed a 55-58-9 record during his career.

Ohio State – Wright State
Ohio State owns a 6-2 record against Wright State. The Buckeyes own a 2-1 record at WSU and have won four of the five contests in Columbus. The last meeting occurred in 2001 with Ohio State netting a 5-2 victory at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

2003 Outlook: Buckeyes Return 15 From Big Ten Champ Squad
The Buckeyes return to the pitch this season with 15 players back from last season’s Big Ten Tournament Championship team. With the team’s experience, Ohio State looks to make a strong run towards another Big Ten title and NCAA tournament berth.

Leading the way is Ohio State’s two-time Most Valuable Offensive Player, Lisa Grubb, who has led the Buckeyes in scoring each of her first two season’s. Joining Grubb in the frontline is 2002 second-leading scorer Colleen Hoban. The pair combined to score 14 of the Buckeyes 28 goals last season. Also joining the frontline is Kentucky transfer Kathy Fulk an All-Southeastern Conference player.

The deepest area of the squad is the midfield post. Led by All-Big Ten freshman Danielle Dietrich. Dietrich along with Emily Gilbert will solidify the middle. Juniors Heather Miller, Liz Mumley and redshirt freshman Kelsey Thorton will rotate the flanks. The midfield also boasts returning seniors Jackie Shirer and Tara Latella.

The backline is led by junior Erica Nollen. Nollen, who has started all 42 games of her career, will be joined by fellow junior Paige Harrison. Freshman Melissa Miller will take over the remaining center-back position.

The goalkeeper position probably showcases the stiffest competition on the team. 2002 starter Emily Haynam, 2001 starter Jen Heaney, redshirt freshman Shannon Neely and newcomer Staci Sinkway all have their eyes set on the goal box this fall .

Nine Starters Back for Buckeyes
Entering the 2003 campaign Ohio State returns nine players who saw action as starters last year.

Leading the way is junior standout Lisa Grubb. Joining Grubb are veteran junior midfielders Elizabeth Mumley and Emily Gilbert. Junior Defenders Erica Nollen and Paige Harrison will again be starters on the backline. Nollen has 42 consecutive starts for the Buckeyes

Also joining the standout juniors are returning sophomore starters Danielle Dietrich, an All-Big Ten freshman team selection, and Colleen Hoban. Hoban netted 16 points for the Buckeyes last season.

The goalkeeper slot is stacked with talented individuals who can step in at any moment. The starting position was shared by juniors Emily Haynam and Jen Jeaney in 2002. Haynam led the Buckeyes in their Big Ten Tournament charge, while Heaney has recorded 11 collegiate victories in her two-year career.

2002: OSU Scores First NCAA Berth
2002 marked the first time an Ohio State women’s soccer team played in the NCAA Tournament.

The Buckeyes gained their invitation to the tournament by winning the 2002 Big Ten Tournament. Upon making their first trip to the NCAA’s Ohio State drew Notre Dame as their opponent. The Buckeyes were ousted 3-1 by the Irish in a hard fought first round contest.

Winners Strike First
The key to Ohio State’s success in 2002 was striking first as the Buckeyes were an impressive 10-0 last season when scoring the first goal of a match.

One-Goal Matches – OSU Fortay
The Buckeyes excelled in 2002 in matches decided by one goal or less (tie). Ohio State amassed a record of 8-3-1 in all matches decided by one goal or less, including all three victories in the Big Ten tournament stretch.

Walker Enters Season No. 7
Ohio St. head coach Lori Walker is entering her seventh season as head coach. She has compiled a 60-56-1 record including a 21-32-4 record in Big Ten competition.

Walker’s 2002 Buckeyes won its first Big Ten tournament and gained their first-ever invitation to the NCAA tournament. Walker also was awarded the 2002 Coach of the Big Ten Tournament.

In 2001, Walker was named Big Ten Co-Coach of the year. During the 2001 campaign she turned a 4-7 midseason record into a 6-2-1 mark to finish the season 10-9-1, earning fourth place in the conference, which has been OSU’s best finish in conference play.

In Walker’s seven years of service she has coached 36 Academic All-Big Ten and 62 OSU Scholar-Athletes.

During the off-season Walker serves as a color-commentator for the Washington Freedom of the WUSA women’s professional soccer league.

Buckeyes Excel at Late Season Runs
Late season runs have been a specialty for the Buckeyes. Over the past two years Ohio State has finished well and even turned around their seasons.

In 2001 Ohio St. boasted a 4-7 record before finishing the season 6-2-1. During 2002 Ohio State struggled to a 3-8 mark but finished the season by taking victories in six of their last 10 games. The run at the end of 2002 was capped by a Big Ten Tournament championship and the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament berth.

Haynam Competes in NCAA Tournaments in Two Sports
Ohio State goalkeeper Emily Haynam, who also doubles as a forward on the Ohio State women’s basketball team, helped both her squads reach the NCAA Tournament in 2002.

Haynam helped the basketball Buckeyes advance to the second round of play, while minding the net in OSU’s 3-1 first round loss at Notre Dame.

Ten Buckeyes Spend Summer in Professional Development Leagues
Ten from the 2003 squad used their summer as an opportunity to improve their games in the W-League, a professional development league for women’s soccer.

Five Buckeyes – Emily Gilbert, Emily Haynam, Paige Harrison, Colleen Hoban and Heather Miller – remained in Columbus to play locally for Stars, while five others played elsewhere.

2002 leading scorer Lisa Grubb saw action with the Chicago Cobras, Nicole Braman returned to her home state of Colorado to play for the Denver Diamonds, while Erica Nollen and Jen Heaney headed south to play in Cincinnati and Liz Mumley traveled to Virginia to play for the Prince Williams Sparklers.

Up Next
The Buckeyes return home Friday, Sept. 5 for a bout with ACC power and Top 10 opponent Virginia at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes and Cavaliers will take to the pitch at 1 p.m. as part a tripleheader with the Ohio State men’s soccer weekend tournament.