Aug. 30, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 15th-ranked Ohio State field hockey team (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) travels to Newark, Del., to compete in the Blue Hen Classic Sept. 2-3.

The Buckeyes will play host Delaware (1-1, 0-0 Colonial Athletic Association) Saturday and then face Penn (0-0, 0-0 Ivy League) Sunday. Both games begin at 11:30 a.m.

Getting Off on the Right Foot
Ohio State opened its 2006 season with a 4-2 victory at No. 11 Boston College Aug. 26 at Newton Campus Turf Field in Newton, Mass. The win marked the first season-opening victory for Ohio State since 2001.

Senior Saskia Mueller scored two of the Buckeyes’ goals, with classmates Curlyne Wynn and Lauren Kruse netting the other two. Sophomore Linda Haussener had a career-high three assists. Freshman goalkeeper Lindsay Quintiliani made four saves to pick up her first collegiate victory.

Overall, the Buckeyes out-shot BC 20-14, with Wynn firing a team-high seven shots. Ohio State also had a 7-5 advantage in penalty corners.

Two Buckeyes Named Big Ten Players of the Week
The Buckeyes picked up both Big Ten weekly honors Aug. 28, with senior Saskia Mueller named Offensive Player of the Week and freshman Lindsay Quintiliani named Defensive Player of the Week for their play against Boston College. Mueller, a midfielder from Zuerich, Switzerland, scored two goals, including the gamewinner, to lead the Buckeyes to the 4-2 win. It was her third career game with multiple goals and the sixth game-winning goal of her career. This is the third Big Ten Player of the Week honor of her career.

In her first college start, Quintiliani, from Mountain Top, Pa., held the Eagles to just two goals to record her first career win. She allowed one goal early in each of the halves, but quickly settled down to backstop the Buckeyes to their season-opening road victory. Quintiliani recorded a total of four saves in the game.

Double Up
In the opening game of the year at Boston College, sophomore Linda Haussener set up three of the Buckeyes’ four goals. Those three assists doubled her career assist total to six after recording three during her entire freshman season.

Buckeyes at the Blue Hen Classic
This is the second-consecutive season Ohio State has played in the Blue Hen Classic. Last year, the Buckeyes defeated Richmond, 3-1, Sept. 3, before falling to Duke, 3-1, Sept. 4. Four different OSU players scored goals that weekend (including Yesenia Luces and Lauren Kruse).

OSU vs. Delaware
This is the second meeting all-time between Ohio State and Delaware. The last time the two teams met was before any of the current Buckeyes were born – Sept. 12, 1981. OSU lost, 5-0, to the Blue Hens at the Connectciut Invitational. Senior midfielder Curlyne Wynn was born just over six weeks later, Oct. 29, 1981.

OSU vs. Penn
This is the first ever meeting between Ohio State and the Penn Quakers.

Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware is 1-1 after opening its 2006 season last weekend at the Duke/Champions Tournament. The Blue Hens upset No. 16 Michigan State, 5-4, before falling to No. 3 Duke, 5-1, in the championship game.

Midfielder Stephanie Swain was named Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week, Aug. 29, after scoring two goals in the Duke tournament, including the team’s lone goal against the Blue Devils. She had five points to tie for the team lead with Kate Evans.

Scouting the Quakers
Prior to playing the Buckeyes Sunday, Penn opens its 2006 season Saturday with a neutral-site game against Syracuse. The Quakers return seven of their starters from 2005 when the team went 9-8 and finished fifth in the Ivy League at 3-4.

Penn is coached by Val Cloud, who begins her 12th season at the helm of the program. She has a record of 87-102 at the school.

On Your Mark…
Ohio State aims to maintain their 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. The Buckeyes opened the season at Boston College with a 4-2 win. This weekend, 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.

Building on 200
Head coach Anne Wilkinson recorded 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 201-161-8 in her 19-plus seasons as a head coach. Wilkinson has compiled a 122-78 (.610) mark in 10-plus years at Ohio State and was 79-83-8 during nine years at American.

Back to the Old Stomping Grounds
Head coach Anne Wilkinson returns to her alma mater when Ohio State plays in the Blue Hen Classic. Wilkinson attended the University of Delaware 1983-87, and was a two-time All-American in field hockey as well as an All-American in lacrosse. She was a four-year letterwinner in both sports and helped lead the Blue Hens to a national lacrosse title in 1983.

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
Ohio State 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.

The first 2006 NFHCA regular-season poll will be released Sept. 5.

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.