Oct. 16, 2002

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State field hockey team (5-7-0, 1-2-0 Big Ten) will play host to conference rival Penn State (11-2-0, 2-1-0 Big Ten) at noon Saturday. The contest will be held at the North Turf Field near the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

The Buckeyes defeated Northwestern in a 3-0 shut out victory to pick up their first Big Ten win Friday (Oct. 11) at the North Turf Field in Columbus.

Buckeye junior Mariana Solorzano scored twice in the contest for Ohio State. Solorzano recorded her first goal 31:26 into the game off a penalty corner from teammates Stacey Todd and Jenee Doto as OSU claimed a 1-0 lead at halftime.

The trio of Solorzano, Todd and Doto teamed up again early in the second half (41:38) for another Buckeye score. Solorzano tallied her fifth and sixth goals of the season in the victory. Vanessa Immordino scored the third goal at 61:58 on a penalty shot.

“Today, things really clicked for us as far as our ball movement and being able to take charge,” OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said. “We were confident in moving the ball. They really took the initiative on the field and didn’t wait for anybody else to do it. They all stepped up and really took care of the ball.”

Buckeye goalkeeper Lara Koole tallied three saves while Wildcat goalkeeper Kendra Mesa also had three saves.

Ohio State out shot the Wildcats 16-3 and also had an 11-5 advantage on penalty corners. Solorzano recorded seven shots in the contest.

The No.6-ranked Nittany Lions are coming off a 4-2 win over No. 8 James Madison Sunday (Oct. 13) in Harrisonburg, Va. Penn State junior Timarie Legel scored two goals and had an assist in the win. Junior Heather Conroy and sophomore Michelle Rigby also tallied goals in the game.

Conroy leads the Big Ten in virtually every scoring category this season. She has recorded 14 goals in 12 games for the Nittany Lions this season and has taken 69 shots (5.75 shots per game) to lead the conference. Conroy also has compiled 32 points off the 14 goals and four assists.

Penn State goalkeeper Annie Zinkavich has recorded six shutouts in 12 games this season. She has tallied 39 saves and leads the Big Ten in goals allowed (9) in over 800 minutes of action.

The Buckeyes have complied a 5-23-2 record all-time against the Nittany Lions since the first meeting in 1977. Last season, Ohio State earned at 2-1 victory in State College.

The Ohio State field hockey team (5-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) topped No. 11 Penn State (2-3 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) Friday, 2-1, at Bigler Field in University Park, Pa. It was the Big Ten opener for both teams.

In the first half, the Nittany Lions out shot the Buckeyes, 6-2, but OSU goalkeeper Allison Blanton recorded six saves in the period to keep Penn State off the board for a scoreless tie at the half.

Ohio State was awarded a penalty stroke with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game. Vanessa Immordino’s shot hit the top left corner of the cage for the first goal of the game. Immordino put another shot passed Lion goalkeeper Annie Zinkavich to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead with 7:18 left.

Penn State turned on the offense in the final two minutes. After drawing seven penalty corners, the Lions finally converted on the eighth attempt when Kiley Kulina took passes from Kelly Concini and Jill Martz with 53 seconds left to play. The Buckeyes defense tightened in the final seconds to secure the win. Blanton finished the game with seven saves, while Zinkavich finished the game with two.

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 squad earned its first conference win against Northwestern in a 3-0 victory at the North Turf Field. The Buckeyes will also travel to Iowa (Oct. 27) and play host to 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 20 points on eight goals and four assists. She has started all 12 games for the Buckeyes and has taken a team-high 43 shots.

Senior Stacey Todd leads the team in assists with seven on the season. Todd also has tallied two goals and is second on the team in shots (26) and points (11).

Freshmen goalkeepers Lara Koole and Linsday Williams have shared time in net this season for the Buckeyes. Koole has seen action in nine games and has recorded 30 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. Recaps of all contests will be posted on

Information on the Ohio State field hockey team and OSU’s 36 varsity sports is available on the official website of The Ohio State Department of Athletics at Standings and statistics from around the Big Ten can be found at

Ohio State will close out the three-game home stand Oct. 22 against Ball State at the North Turf Field.