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Aug. 24, 2000

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State women’s soccer team opens the 2000 regular season this weekend, hosting%^$Oakland and Syracuse.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes take on the Golden Grizzlies in the season opener at 5 p.m. Friday,%^$Aug. 25. OSU will face the Orangewomen of Syracuse at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. Both%^$games will be played at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, located on the Ohio State campus just%^$north of the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Tickets are available at the gate or by calling%^$1-800-GO BUCKS.%^$

%^$Who’s Back?%^$

%^$Ohio State returns 11 of 15 starters in hopes of building on last year’s successful 12-6-2%^$regular season record.%^$

%^$Senior goalkeeper Amber Barnes returns as a three-year starter in goal for the Buckeyes.%^$She has posted impressive numbers in each of her three seasons, including a stellar 1998%^$season in which she broke numerous school records. She has proven herself to be one of the%^$best goalkeepers in OSU history, ranking first in career goals against average (1.33) and%^$shutouts (20.5).%^$

%^$The 2000 starting lineup will be dominated by underclassmen. The squad consists of nine%^$sophomores and juniors who saw significant playing time last season. Leading the regime%^$is junior midfielder Emily Thorpe, 1999 team MVP, and sophomore forward Lindsey Eckles.%^$Thorpe, who Walker calls the fastest player on the team, started all 20 games in the Buckeye%^$midfield last season and finished the year second on the team in scoring (6 G, 4 A).%^$Eckles returns as the team’s leading scorer. She started 12 games last season at the forward%^$position and finished with nine goals and two assists for 20 points. She took 71 shots on%^$goal, far more than any other player on the team. (Thorpe came in second with 49 shots).%^$Senior Mia Katzel returns to the Buckeye offense with an important role as a reserve forward. She is expected to have a critical role in being a first attacker.%^$

%^$Sophomores Jen Miller and Lizzy Moore will look to dominate the Buckeye defense. Miller will%^$be the go-to person to run the defense in front of the goalkeeper while Moore has the ability%^$to physically intimidate opponents. Senior Amanda Orr returns to the Buckeye lineup as a%^$three-year starter on the Buckeye defense.%^$

%^$Sophomore Kiley Enmark, who started 12 games in the midfield last season, is expected to be%^$the cornerstone of the midfield, assisted by juniors Jamie Minteer and Brooke Thomas. Thomas,%^$who transferred from the University of Cincinnati after the 1998 season, will start at%^$midfield.%^$

%^$Leading an impressive pack of Buckeye forwards is junior Courtney Nein, who played in all%^$20 games last season and tallied 22 shots on goal. With great depth at the forward position%^$ this year, sophomores Shelley and Kara Brant and juniors Melanie Vierling and Brynn Catino%^$will each be competing for a starting spot. All four have been key contributors off the%^$bench and saw a reasonable amount of playing time last season.%^$

%^$Who’s New?%^$

%^$The 2000 freshman class, consisting of Kristina D’Antonio, Stacia Daum, Jennica Kidd,%^$Jennifer Ulrey, and Liz White was designed to fill specific voids left by graduation.%^$

%^$D’Antonio brings international experience to the Buckeyes, having represented the United%^$States as a former member of the Under 16 National Team. Daum, a defender, is known for her%^$hard-nosed tackles and smothering man-marking. Daum played club ball with Ohio Premier Soccer%^$Club, the same team as current Buckeye Lindsay Eckles. Kidd comes to Ohio State after playing%^$club ball with the Ambassador Soccer Club under former Buckeye All-American Jodie Stranges.%^$She possesses skillful long ball service and ball-winning tenacity in the midfield. Ulrey%^$joins the Buckeyes as a goalkeeper. She will add depth to the position and will be competing%^$for a starting spot with Barnes and returning redshirt freshman keeper Anna Mitchell. White%^$is a midfielder who has great mobility and vision and is a natural leader.%^$

%^$Last Week%^$

%^$The Buckeyes have been back for two weeks preparing for the regular season. After a week of%^$hard practices, they defeated Butler 2-0 in an exhibition match Aug. 19 at Jesse Owens%^$Memorial Stadium. Although the game or the stats did not count towards season records, the%^$Buckeyes played like it counted. After playing through a scoreless first half, junior%^$Courtney Nein scored 10 minutes into the second half off an assist from teammate Lizzy%^$Moore to make it 1-0. Junior Emily Thorpe netted OSU’s second goal at 70:56.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes outshot the Bulldogs 8-4 and senior goalkeeper Amber Barnes tallied four saves.%^$

%^$Scouting Oakland%^$

%^$The Golden Grizzlies capped off their first full season in the Mid-Continent Conference last%^$year by winning the regular season championship. Head coach Nick O’Shea guided his team%^$to a flawless 5-0 conference record and a 14-4-1 record overall. Oakland lost to Valparaiso%^$in the semifinals of the Mid-Con Conference tournament, 4-2 on penalty kicks.%^$

%^$Eleven letterwinners, including nine starters, return from last year’s squad and will join 15%^$newcomers. Senior forward Kristin Luoma led the team in scoring last year, with 17 goals%^$and a total of 45 points. She finished 12th in the nation with a 2.37 points per game%^$average and was selected first team All-Mid-Con and all-region. Midfielder Anita Rapp, also%^$returning for her senior season, was selected her conference’s Co-Player of the Year, and%^$earned all-region and GTE Academic All-America honors for District IV. She finished seventh%^$in the nation with a 0.71 assists per game average. Rapp scored seven goals and added 12%^$assists for a total of 26 points.%^$

%^$This is the first match-up between the Buckeyes and the Golden Grizzlies.%^$

%^$Scouting Syracuse%^$

%^$Head coach April Kater guided the Orangewomen to a 12-6-2 overall record and a 3-1-1 record%^$in the Big East conference in 1999. Syracuse lost to Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the%^$Big East tournament and finished the season in second place in the Northeast division.%^$

%^$Thirteen letterwinners, including seven starters, return from last year’s squad and will%^$join nine newcomers. The Orangewomen will play this season without Jenna Szyluk, the team’s%^$second-leading scorer in 1999, who graduated. Junior forward Candy Reich will look to fill%^$the gap. Reich led the team in scoring last season, having scored nine goals and added five%^$assists for a total of 23 points. Senior Erin O’Grady is SU’s all-time career leader in%^$goals and points and will provide leadership along with senior Cindy Wolf. Katie Karlander%^$returns as the team’s starting goalkeeper. As a freshman last season, Karlander had an%^$11-5-2 record with a 1.06 goals against average and 6.5 shutouts.%^$

%^$This is the second time Ohio State has faced Syracuse, the first being Sept. 1, 1999.%^$The Buckeyes defeated the Orangewomen, 2-0.