Oct. 9, 2002

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State field hockey team (4-7-0, 0-2-0 Big Ten) will battle Big Ten rival Northwestern (4-6-0, 0-2-0 Big Ten) at 3 p.m. Friday at the North Turf Field near the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The game is the conference home opener for the Buckeyes. Both teams will be looking for their first Big Ten win of the season.

The Buckeyes lost to the Indiana Hoosiers, 3-2, Oct. 5 at Mellencamp Pavilion in Bloomington, Ind. The Buckeyes battled the Hoosiers the entire game, but were not able to finish on top.

Indiana took control of the game early on, scoring two goals in the first half and their third goal at the beginning of the second period. The Hoosiers led the Buckeyes, 3-0. Ohio State and Indiana finished the first period tied with five shots.

Ohio State stepped up in the second half of the game. Vanessa Immordino scored off a penalty shot 38:23 into the game. The Buckeyes kept up the pace and continued to battle the Hoosiers. Marianna Solorzano scored OSU’s second goal off a penalty corner from Stacey Todd and Jenee Doto at 47:57, to bring OSU within one goal. The Buckeyes led the Hoosiers, 11-8, in shots at the end of the second period. Ohio State could not score another goal to tie to game.

The Buckeyes recorded 16 shots in the game to Indiana’s 13 shots. Ohio State also led 11-3 on penalty corners.

Ohio State goalkeeper Lara Koole recorded four saves while Indiana goalkeeper Molly Pulkrabek had eight.

The Wildcats (4-6-0, 0-2-0) are coming off a close 1-0 loss in overtime to No. 6-ranked Penn State Oct. 5. Northwestern senior goalkeeper Kendra Mesa saved five shots in the match. Mesa made her first start of the season in the net for the Wildcats.

Candice Cooper leads the Wildcats in scoring with seven goals on the season. Cooper also leads the team in shots, with 33. Holly Palin has tallied four goals while Lindsey Millard has recorded three. Kelly Augustine has made nine appearances in goal for Northwestern and has tallied 27 saves while Mesa has only seen action in one game.

Northwestern has scored 12 of its 19 goals this season in the first half. The Wildcats have tallied 103 shots and 53 penalty corners.

The Buckeyes have complied a 16-26-1 record against Northwestern since the first meeting in 1982. Ohio State defeated Northwestern, 3-1, last season in Evanston.

OSU plays four Big Ten teams at home and three Big Ten teams on the road this season. The Buckeyes were defeated by Michigan 4-1 in Ann Arbor in the conference season opener and fell to the Hoosiers on the road, 4-1 Oct. 5. The Buckeyes will also travel to Iowa (Oct. 27) and play host to Northwestern (Oct. 11) and Penn State (Oct. 19). OSU will close out the regular season at home against Michigan State Nov. 2.

Junior forward Vanessa Immordino leads the Buckeyes in scoring this season. Immordino has tallied 18 points on seven goals and four assists. She has started all 11 games for the Buckeyes and has taken a team-high 40 shots.

Senior Stacey Todd leads the team in assists with five on the season. Todd also has tallied two goals and is second on the team in shots (25) and points (nine).

Freshmen goalkeepers Lara Koole and Linsday Williams have shared time in net this season for the Buckeyes. Koole has seen action in eight games and has recorded 27 saves. Williams has played in four games and has tallied nine saves.

Senior defenders McKenzie Hufford and Jen Van Kirk will serve as 2002 Buckeye co-captains.

Hufford started 18 games as a junior and is described as a solid defender capable of running down the opposition. Last season, she scored two points on a goal against Ohio (10/2).

Van Kirk is another key asset to the Buckeye defense. As a junior, she started all 20 contests, led the OSU defense and helped the Buckeyes to four shutouts.

Now in her seventh season at Ohio State, head coach Anne Wilkinson has established the Buckeyes as both a perennial Top 20 program and as one of the upper-echelon teams in the Big Ten Conference.

Wilkinson came to OSU after an impressive nine-year stint as the head coach at American University in Washington, D.C. Wilkinson twice was named the conference coach of the year and earned regional coach of the year accolades once.

In the 2001 season at Ohio State, Wilkinson proved her team is capable of winning. The team finished the season 15-5 overall, 5-1 in the Big Ten and ranked No. 5 in the nation. The Buckeyes captured the first Big Ten regular-season championship and conference tournament championship in the 30-year history of the program. The championship title gave OSU an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which was only the second appearance for OSU in the history of the program. The Buckeyes complied their eighth-consecutive winning season and the sixth under Wilkinson.

Kate Starre, a native of Armadale, Australia, begins her first season as an assistant coach with the Buckeyes.

Starre is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner as a member of the Australian National Team, she participated in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Games in Sydney. She also participated in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, where the Australian team finished fifth. Starre helped the Australian squad win the World Cup in 1994 and 1998.

Starre brings six years of coaching experience to Ohio State. She was the head coach at Kanbalda Ladies College in Sydney, Australia, in 1994 and St. Mary’s Ladies College in Perth, Australia, in 1995. Starre came to the United States in 1996 and joined the staff at Northwestern University as an assistant coach (1997-98). Most recently, she completed two seasons as the head coach of the Rush Field Hockey Club (2001-02).

Being crowned the 2001 Big Ten Tournament Champions and playing host to the tournament this season will be an added advantage for the Buckeyes. OSU plays host to the 2002 Big Ten Tournament Nov. 8-10 at the North Turf Field located at the Woody Hayes Athletic Facility.

The Buckeyes return to action Oct. 19 when they play host to Penn State. Ohio State will close out the three-game home stand Oct. 22 against Ball State.