Nov. 10, 2003

Columbus, Ohio – The No. 24-ranked Ohio State women’s soccer team (12-4-3) was assured of a bid to the 2003 Women’s Soccer NCAA Tournament Monday afternoon as the squad was selected to its first at-large bid in program history Monday. The Buckeyes will travel to Morgantown, W. Va. to face the Dayton Flyers Friday night at 5 p.m. West Virginia serves as the host as it plays Loyola (Md.) in the second match Friday night. The winners of each contest meet Sunday for the right to advance to the regional semifinals.

Ohio State, which has celebrated its 10th anniversary of women’s soccer this season, earned its initial berth to the NCAA tournament in program history a year ago as the automatic qualifier from the Big Ten after capturing the 2002 tournament title. The Buckeyes dropped a 3-1 decision to Notre Dame last season in South Bend, Ind., marking their only NCAA tournament match.

Ohio State has faced Dayton on six prior occasions, winning five of the meetings opposed to just one loss. The last time Buckeyes and Flyers met was in 2000, a 1-0 OSU triumph in Columbus.

Ohio State head coach Lori Walker is excited about the at-large selection and the Morgantown bracket.

“This is a team that continues to set standards,” Walker said. “Qualifying as our first at-large bid is a wonderful way to celebrate our 10th season of women’s soccer at Ohio State. Dayton is going to be a great opponent. They are an in-state rival and a team we have played numerous times in the past. We look forward to playing in this bracket. West Virginia has a lot of Ohio ties and is a team we would like to face should be play well. We should be successful in this bracket if we play to our ability.”