Feb. 7, 2007

Ohio State returns 13 letterwinners including 10 starters from last season’s squad that finished 4-12 overall and 1-4 (fifth) in the American Lacrosse Conference. With an incoming class of eight freshmen, the Buckeyes look to improve on last season and make an impact in the ALC.

The Buckeyes have four starters returning for the season with Kristen Hannon, Libby Graf, Amanda Shimp and Kendall Gysin all sophomore or juniors. Hannon, a junior, posted 14 goals and 11 assists last season. Sophomore Graf collected seven ground balls, three ground balls and three caused turnovers. Junior Shimp recorded eight goals last season. Gysin, a sophomore, contributed three goals, adding 12 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers. Lauren Traficant, Ally MacMeekin, Bethany Carey and Natalie Miller lettered in 2006. Traficant, a senior/junior, had three goals and an assist and Miller, a senior, added eight goals and an assist last season. Senior MacMeekin contributed two ground balls, four draw controls and a caused turnover. Carey, a junior, posted 18 ground balls, 11 draw controls and four caused turnovers last season. Additional support will come from returning sophomore players Margaret Prunte and Rachel Hawes. Incoming freshmen Lauren Sterner, Megan Levins and Laura Burke will provide added depth.

Returning junior starter Kristen Slahor had 13 goals and 13 assists in 2006. Also returning is Jessica Patane, a junior, is the top returning scorer with 22 goals and six assists for 28 points. Jacqueline Cook, a sophomore, saw limited action adding two goals a year ago. Incoming freshmen Rachel Cornicello, Kelly Haggerty, Keri Yourick and Brittany Zerhusen will round out the position.

Returning starters senior Danielle Gibson and junior/sophomore Kacie Cladwell will anchor the defense. Gibson had 11 ground balls, six draw controls and nine caused turnovers last season. Cladwell contributed 17 ground balls, six draw controls and seven caused turnover. Additional support will come from junior/sophomore Allyson Vernon. Vernon did not play in 2006 but saw action in 11 games during the 2005 season. Sophomore/freshmen Mallory Mayhew and incoming freshman Claire Bilzi and Lindsay Burkhart will provide additional support at this position

In goal, 11 game starter sophomore Kristen Gilwee returns with a 4-7 record. She had a .526 save percentage and a 10.94 goals against average. Backing her up is senior Joy DeMarco who played in three games last season (0-1) recording a .478 save percentage and a 12.37 goals against average.

Ohio State loses two starters from the 2006 season in KC Carter and Lindsay Weiner. Also not returning are Kelly Kremer, Kelyn Laws, Andrea Fischer, Alicia McClure, Mindy Kittle, Alicia Meredith and Kim Hastings. This group includes thre e of the top six scorers from last season with Carter having 32 points (28-4), Laws 25 (15-10) and Weiner 16 (14-2).

With nine starters returning, the Buckeyes have the experience to build on the 4-4 mark in the last two months of the season. Ohio State will face some of the best teams in the country this season including Northwestern, Maryland, North Carolina, Johns Hopkins and Notre Dame. The Buckeyes hope to be counted in those teams in the near future.