Aug. 16, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State senior defenders Jim Fisher and Dustin Kirby have been named captains for the 2006 Buckeye men’s soccer team following a vote by the team this week during preseason camp. The duo has helped comprise one of the best defenses in the Big Ten over the last four seasons and aims to help guide Ohio State to the NCAA tournament this season for the third-consecutive year.

Fisher (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) has started 36 consecutive games for the Buckeyes at right back, while Kirby (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) has started every game but one since his arrival at Ohio State (61) in the central defense or midfield and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors last season.

“We asked the team to discuss who they felt their leaders were and who best represented the team,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “They came up with Jim and Dustin, who are exactly who we, as a coaching staff, would have picked. Both are exceptional players who have enjoyed a lot of success here. Both are top-notch kids who have displayed great leadership since last season ended.”

Fisher is in his fifth year in the program and is a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. He started the last 15 games of the 2004 season and all 21 games of 2005.

“It’s an honor to be looked up to by the younger players,” Fisher said. “It’s time to step up and be a leader for them through their early years of college. I want to be a leader on and off the field and show the young guys, especially, what college soccer is all about and help them get to the next level.”

Kirby has played 5,500 minutes out of a possible 5,816 since his arrival at Ohio State and is the one Bluem looks to for stability and leadership in the Buckeye defense. Kirby is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. “It’s an honor that the rest of the guys look at us as the leaders,” Kirby said. “We want to lead the team to a successful year on and off the field. It’s our job to make sure the guys’ heads are in the right direction at all times.”

“Strength comes from within,” Bluem said. “Jim and Dustin have taken over the team and ultimately it’s their team because they are the ones on the field.”