Aug. 24, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State field hockey team (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) travels to Boston, Mass., to open its 2006 season Saturday against the Eagles of Boston College (0-0, 0-0 ACC). The game will be played at Newton Campus Turf Field at noon.

Both teams participated in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. OSU was 15-7 last season while the Eagles posted a 13-7 record.

Looking Back
In 2005, Ohio State tied for the second-most wins in school history with a 15-7 record. The Buckeyes finished third in the Big Ten with a 3-3 record and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals for the 12th time. With the win over Michigan State in the Big Ten quarterfinals, head coach Anne Wilkinson recorded the 200th victory of her career.

OSU received an at-large selection to the NCAA tournament for their first appearance in the event since 2001. The Buckeyes battled No. 4-seed Old Dominion in the first round, but fell 5-4. Ohio State hosted the NCAA first and second rounds for the first time at North Turf Field.

Eagle Scout
Boston College concluded the 2005 season with a 13-7 record in head coach Ainslee Lamb’s first year at the helm. The Eagles made their third-consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament after going 1-4 in the ACC for fifth place.

One of the top returning players for BC is sophomore Bob Dirks, who ranked second on the team with 27 points (11g, 5a) in 2005. Junior Crystal Frates finished just behind her with 26 points on 13 goals, four of which were gamewinners. In the cage for the Eagles is sophomore Julia Berkowitz, who played in four games in 2005 and saw limited time behind then-senior goalkeeper Jillian Savoy. On your mark…
Ohio State aims to maintain the offensive attack after averaging 3.11 goals per game in 2005. The Buckeyes return five of seven student-athletes who totaled double-digit points last season. Leading that group is junior Yesenia Luces, who led the Big Ten in scoring with 44 points (13g, 18a).

Senior Saskia Mueller tied for first in the nation with 19 assists and finished with a total of 37 points. Also tallying double-digit points in 2005 were fellow seniors Lauren Kruse (17 pts.) and Curlyne Wynn (13 pts.) and sophomore Linda Haussener (13 pts.).

OSU is looking to fill the role of two of its top four scorers with Lucy Clayton (18g, 2a) and Leticia Fragapane (10g, 3a) completing their eligibility.

Get Set…
The Buckeyes began their preparation for the 2006 season on a high note, winning the T2D Spring League. Ohio State was 5-0-3 against league opponents, comprised of Big Ten and MAC teams. The Buckeyes defeated Michigan State, 3-2, in the championship game at North Turf Field to win their second-consecutive league title.

Ohio State begins the 2006 season with three road games. After the Buckeyes open the season Saturday at Boston College, the team travels to Newark, Del., to compete in the Blue Hen Classic Sept. 2-3. OSU takes on host Delaware Saturday and then faces Penn in a neutral site game Sunday. Both games are at 11:30 a.m.

The Buckeyes open their home schedule Sept. 10 at North Turf Field with a noon game against Pacific.

Previous Meetings
Ohio State and Boston College have met one other time in 1999. The Buckeyes defeated the Eagles in overtime by a score of 3-2 in Columbus, Ohio.

Building on 200
Head coach Anne Wilkinson reached the 200th victory of her career when the Buckeyes defeated Michigan State, 1-0, in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals Nov. 4, 2005. She owns a record of 200-161-8 in her 19 seasons as a head coach. Wilkinson has compiled a 121-78 mark in 10 years at Ohio State and was 79-83-8 during nine years at American.

And the Award Goes to…
Several Buckeyes enter the 2006 with national and/or conference awards from last season. Below are the members of the team with the recognitions:
Yesenia Luces
Dartfish/NFHCA First Team All-American
Dartfish/NFHCA First Team All-West Region
First Team All-Big Ten
Saskia Mueller
Dartfish/NFHCA Third Team All-American
Dartfish/NFHCA First Team All-West Region
Second Team All-Big Ten
Academic All-Big Ten
Curlyne Wynn
Dartfish/NFHCA First Team All-West Region
First Team All-Big Ten
Florencia Stier
Big Ten All-Tournament Team
Linda Haussener
NFHCA National Academic Squad
Emily Mikac
NFHCA National Academic Squad

They’re a Pair of Keepers
The area of goalkeeping is one of the few unknowns for Ohio State this season with two freshman keepers in Lindsay Quintiliani and Ali Ristas. Quintiliani, a native of Mountain Top, Pa., had a first team all-state selection in 2005 and helped lead Crestwood High School to the district playoffs last season after winning the state championship in 2004. Ristas, a native of Columbus, Ohio, was a three-time Central Ohio First Team All-League member. She helped Bishop Watterson High School to the 2005 state championship after the team was runner-up in 2004. Both will compete for the starting role left open with the graduation of Lindsay Williams.

OSU welcomes eight student-athletes to the 2006 roster. The freshman class includes backs Natalia Ciminello and Rachel Hunter, midfielder Melissa Palm, forwards Keri Houser and Melissa Hunter and goalkeepers Lindsay Quintiliani and Ali Ristas.

The Buckeyes also added junior forward Michaela O’Malley, who will bring immediate experience after transferring from Northeastern. She totaled 20 points on nine goals and two assists during her two seasons while playing in 43 games with 22 starts.

A Family Affair
Ohio State has two pairs of sisters on its 2006 roster. Backs Jessica (a senior) and Jamie ( a junior) Gofgosky are from Marathon, N.Y., while twin freshmen Melissa and Rachel Hunter are natives of Ocean City, N.J.

In the Polls
The Ohio State field hockey team is ranked No. 15 in the STX/NFHCA Preseason Poll released by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Aug. 21. The Buckeyes, who finished the 2005 season ranked 11th in the final NFHCA poll, are coming off one of their best seasons in school history, with a 15-7 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Ohio State received 292 votes to rank ahead of Big Ten foe Michigan State at No. 16 with 227 votes. Other conference members in the poll include No. 7 Penn State (605 votes), No. 8 Michigan (537), No. 10 Indiana (390) and No. 12 Iowa (352). Maryland topped the poll with 35 first-place votes and 879 total votes. Wake Forest, who Ohio State will face Oct. 6 in Winston-Salem, N.C., is second with 819 votes and five first-place tallies.

Luces, Wynn and Puzo Compete in International Tournament
Ohio State field hockey players Yesenia Luces and Curlyne Wynn of Trinidad and Tobago, along with assistant coach Inako Puzo of Venezuela, represented their respective countries while playing in the Central American and Caribbean Games July 21-29 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The games were hosted by the Pan American Hockey Federation in preparation for the 2007 Pan-American Games. The event began with round robin play July 21-25 followed by the playoffs July 27-29.

Wynn and Luces were 2-1-0 in Pool B and helped Trinidad and Tobago reach the bronze medal game, where the team fell short, 4-2, to Barbados. Wynn is a native of Trincity who will begin her senior season with Ohio State in 2006. Her cousin, Blair Wynn, also played on the team. Luces is a native of Port of Spain and led the Buckeyes in scoring last season as a sophomore. Both have represented their country in numerous international events, including previous Pan-American Games.

Puzo, a native of Barcelona, Spain, who graduated from Venezuela Central University, has been a member of the Venezuelan National Team since 1988 and captained the team during these Central American and Caribbean Games. The squad finished sixth in the men’s division with a 3-2 defeat to Barbados. Venezuela was 0-1-2 in Pool B of round-robin play.