April 22, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State defeated Michigan, 1-0, in the championship game of the 2005 Mercian Cup Spring League to clinch OSU’s first title April 17 at North Turf Field in Columbus, Ohio. This year marked the fourth season for the tournament and the first title for the Buckeyes.

“This was a great opportunity for us to measure our progress on the playing field against some of the top teams in the Big Ten and the Mid-American Conference,” Anne Wilkinson, Ohio State head coach, said. “Thanks to Mercian for supporting this competition.”

The Buckeyes opened the 2005 tournament with a 7-2 victory over Kent State April 9 in Kent, Ohio. After dropping a 3-1 decision to Michigan, OSU defeated Central Michigan, 2-1, April 16 at North Turf Field in Columbus, Ohio. In the final day of action, Ohio State tied Michigan State, 1-1, to advance to the championship game April 17 in Columbus.

The Buckeye’s lone goal of the title game was scored at the end of the first half on a corner by Lucy Clayton, assisted by Yesenia Luces and Saskia Mueller.

“Everybody put themselves out there, and collectively as a team we did what had to be done,” Clayton said. “The weekend was a brilliant way to start off our 2005 season and we are all glad to see how our hard work in the off season has paid off.”

“We’ve worked hard with Coach Glass in the weight room and our fitness showed playing four full games in two days,” Wilkinson said. “I am very proud of our team’s performance this weekend. We connected on many levels, we played together from start to finish. From a competitive aspect, it was great to rebound from the first loss to Michigan on Saturday and make the changes to take the championship against the same team on Sunday.”

“Playing the weekend the way we did was the result of all the hard work we have been doing since January,” Florencia Stier, Ohio State sophomore forward, said. “The team finally came together, we played as a team and that gave us the chance of winning. We followed instructions and created our own opportunities. It was hard, especially playing four games in two days against good teams we played them last season, but everyone gave their best every single minute. Defensively we improved a lot and although each team had a lot of ball control, Ohio State stepped up when the team had to. Personally it was a great weekend, great field hockey to watch and play, but even more a great weekend that ended with a victory on Sunday against Michigan.”

“The spring is about learning about the game and each other,” Wilkinson said. “The support, communication and respect that this team has for each other gives us confidence in the potential for the fall.”

Ohio State continues its spring season May 14-15 when it travels to the Washington, D.C., area to compete against several club teams and the Maryland Elite Performance Training Team, a squad comprised of the top collegiate players in the mid-Atlantic area.