Aug. 31, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 18 Ohio State women’s soccer team looks to rebound from a rare weekend sweep in its home opener against the Xavier Musketeers Thursday night. The match, set to begin at 7:30 p.m., at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, will be the first match against Xavier since 1998 when the Buckeyes prevailed 2-1. Following the Xavier contest Ohio State will again take to the road and meet the Louisville Cardinals. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., Sept. 4 at Louisville’s Cardinal Park in Louisville, Ky.

Ohio State suffered a rare weekend sweep at the hands of No. 6 Portland and Washington at the 2004 Husky/Nike Invitational.

Last Friday, the Buckeyes fell to Portland, 2-1, in a hard fought battle. Scoring OSU’s lone goal was freshman Heather Young, who looped a shot over the head of goalkeeper Cori Alexander to give the Buckeyes the early lead. However, the lead would be short-lived as Portland tallied two unanswered goals to claim the victory.

Two days later against Washington, Ohio State came up short in overtime, 2-1. After trailing 1-0 in the second-half, OSU’s Danielle Dietrich netted her first goal of the season, beating Washington goalie Kelsey Rasmussen. The Huskies tallied the deciding goal in the extra frame on a redirected corner kick.

Despite their 0-2 start, the Buckeyes are out-shooting their opponents by a 31-25 clip, including a 16-9 edge in shots on goal. The advantage in the shots department is a continuing trend for Ohio State as they have recorded more shots than their opponents in each of the last three seasons. In 2003, Ohio State fired 317 shots to their opponents 240. The 2002 season saw the Buckeyes attempt the second-most shots all-time in a season with 350 to their opponents’ 233. In 2001, Ohio State registered 273 shots vs. 245 for their opponents.

Freshman Lara Dickenmann made her Buckeye debut this weekend, posting impressive numbers in her first two games. The Switzerland native led the Buckeyes in shots against both Portland and Washington. She tallied 11 shots over the two games with 6 against the Pilots, including 4 on goal, and five against the Huskies, with three on goal.

Lori Walker assisted NBC in covering the 2004 Olympic Games Aug. 13-29 in Athens, Greece. Walker, who served the last three seasons as an analyst for the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), provided color commentary for women’s soccer, including the victorious United States gold medal match.

Walker previously has worked with Comcast SportsNet in Maryland the last two years covering the Washington Freedom and in 2001 with Madison Square Garden (MSG) network announcing matches for the New York Power.

Buckeye senior Jen Heaney has seen just about every inch of the field over her four year career. Coming to Ohio State as a goalkeeper, Heaney moved to the forward position in 2003, where she started against Michigan in the Big Ten tournament and scored her first career goal against Dayton in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament.

Heaney made the move back to the goalkeeper position against Washington this past Sunday and posted two saves in playing the full contest.

Xavier comes to Columbus toting an 0-2 record after opening the season with losses to Butler and Loyola.

The Musketeers are led by 2003 scoring leader, Lauren Giesting. Giesting, a senior midfielder, tallied 25 points including 11 goals and three assists in 2003. After two games in 2004, Giesting has 4 shots.

Sophomore Natalie Baker solidifies the Musketeers in net. This season Baker owns an 0-1 record with a 1.33 GAA and five saves.

The head coach for Xavier is Ron Quinn. Quinn is in his 12th year as head coach for Xavier and holds a 129-85-11 career record.

The match Thursday against Xavier will mark the seventh time the two teams have met. Overall, Xavier owns a 3-2-1 series lead against the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes are 2-1 at home and 0-2-1 on the road against the Musketeers.

The last meeting between the two teams came Sept. 15, 1998, with the Buckeyes claiming a 2-1 victory.

The Buckeyes have had success against schools from the A-10. Since Ohio State began women’s soccer play in 1993, the Buckeyes hold an 8-5-1 record against schools from the A-10. The last meeting with an A-10 school was against Dayton in the first round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament, where the Buckeyes claimed a 3-0 victory over the Flyers to claim their first NCAA tournament victory.

The Louisville Cardinals are 1-0 on the year after defeating Butler 1-0 last Friday.

Leading the way for the Cardinals is sophomore forward Jamie Kraft. Kraft is the returning points leader from 2003. Last year, she tallied 20 points with eight goals and four assists.

In goal for the Cardinals is senior Meredith Miller. As a junior in 2003, Miller posted a 7-9-2 record with a 1.43 GAA and 62 saves.

Karen Ferguson is in her fifth year as head coach of the Cardinals. Since her arrival in 2000, Ferguson has posted a 17-53-4 record.

Ohio State holds a 5-0 record against Louisville in their all-time series. The Buckeyes hold a 3-0 advantage in Columbus and a 2-0 edge in Louisville.

Four different Buckeyes scored goals as Ohio State defeated Louisville, 4-0, Oct. 28, 2000.

Sarah Lanham started the OSU scoring in the 10th minute when Lindsay Eckles pushed the ball through the defense allowing Lanham to have an open shot at the goal. Eckles added the second score when she broke through the defense and put the ball in the lower right corner of the goal. Eckles had eight of the 41 OSU shots.

OSU’s seniors went to work in the second half when Amanda Orr put a loose ball into the net for a 3-1 advantage. The final goal of the match came from Liz White.

The Buckeyes are 8-5 against teams from C-USA. The last win for Ohio State against a C-USA opponent came Sept. 12, 2003, with a 2-0 victory against instate rival Cincinnati.

The Buckeyes picked up where they left off in 2003 on the stat sheet this past weekend. Through the first two games, Ohio State is second in the Big Ten in corner kicks with 12, trailing only Purdue (13).

Individually, Buckeye freshman Lara Dickenmann is second in the Big Ten in shots with 11 while her 5.50 shots-per-game is rated third.

With its pair of 2-1 losses to open the season last weekend in Seattle, Ohio State now has played in 17 matches decided by a margin of one goal and carries a 10-7 mark in those contests. The Buckeyes have excelled in close matches the last two seasons as OSU posted a 4-2 record in 2002 and a 6-3 ledger in 2003.

The loss in overtime against Washington marked only the second overtime loss since for OSU since a 2-1 defeat to Wake Forest, Sept. 1, 2000. OSU’s only other loss in overtime since 2000 came against Michigan, Nov. 6, in the 2003 Big Ten Tournament with a 2-1 double-overtime contest. Since 2000, the Buckeyes are 6-3-4 in overtime contests.

Despite the short-comings against Washington and Portland this past weekend the Buckeyes have enjoyed marked success when stepping outside the Big Ten conference. In 2003, they posted an unblemished 8-0 mark against non-conference foes in the regular season. With the win and loss in the NCAA tournament, the Buckeyes concluded at 9-1 vs. non-conference teams.

Included in the nine victories were six shutouts, featuring a 1-0 win over then-No. 6 Virginia in Columbus, a 2-0 victory at perennial Conference USA power Cincinnati and 3-0 triumph over Atlantic-10 champion Dayton in the NCAA’s.

Ohio State will welcome its highest-rated recruiting class to the roster this season. Head coach Lori Walker announced the official signings of the seven-member group in February and has watched several soccer publications rank the class among the nation’s best. In July, Soccer America tabbed the signees at No. 7 in their overall rankings, while placed the Buckeyes at No. 9.

The class features the No. 1-ranked field player signing in the nation in Lara Dickenmann. A native of Kries, Switzerland, Dickenmann led her club team to the national championship in each of the last two seasons.

The Buckeyes also welcomed two top commitments from California in forwards Heather Young and Carleta Arbulu.

Young is a six-time member of the Southern California state team, a five-year member of the Region IV Olympic Development (ODP) team and competed for the USYS National All-Star Team in April 2003.

Arbulu is a five-year member of the Southern California state team and a four-year competitor on the Region IV ODP team.

In addition to an impressive out-of-region and international class, Walker added a trio of stellar Ohio products in Lindsay Mays, Keianna Mitchell and Heather Roberts, who all are veterans of the ODP system.

Three Buckeyes, Lisa Grubb, Melissa Miller and Staci Sinkway were named to the Big Ten’s weekly honor list. Grubb, netted Big Ten weekly honors, Aug. 31, 2003, after scoring two goals in 4-1 win over Indiana State.

Miller was honored Oct. 20, 2003 after helping the Buckeyes to a shutout win over Wisconsin, Oct. 17, 2003. Miller posted OSU’s lone goal in the 1-0 shutout.

Sinkway, was named Athlete of the Week, Oct. 8, 2003, after posting a shutout 1-0 against Oct. 5, 2003 and blanking Michigan for 73 minutes in a 1-1 tie Oct. 3, 2003.

After suffering a devastating, season-ending injury in the first game of 2003, Buckeye forward Lisa Grubb will look to start over and hence gain the form that brought her two team offensive MVP honors in 2001 and 2002. After a year of rehab, Grubb will be able to compete in 2004 and in doing so, will give the Buckeyes added fire power to an already explosive offense.

The Ohio State women’s soccer team participated in the eighth annual Kicks Against Breast Cancer Tournament (KABC) April 4, 2004 in Germantown, Md. The Buckeyes set a record for the largest charitable collegiate contribution received by KABC with over $13,000, smashing the previous mark of $8,000. In its eight years, the event has raised over $275,000 for the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource and Image Center in Columbia, Md.

This season the Buckeyes will look to continue their success inside the confines of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in 2004.

In 2003, the Buckeyes enjoyed a decided advantage with a 7-1-2 record at JOMS.

The Buckeyes dominated the Jesse Owens Stadium scoreboard a year ago, holding a 21-5 advantage in goals, while controlling the corner kick department by an astounding 107-54 ledger. Included in the corner kick advantage were three contests – Youngstown State, Iowa and Minnesota – where the Buckeyes held their opponents to zero corner kick opportunities.

Ohio State will host the Buckeye Classic Sept. 10 and 12 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Among the teams scheduled to participate are LSU, Virginia Tech and Dayton. Ohio State will meet LSU at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10 and Virginia Tech at 2 p.m., Sept. 12.