Aug. 26, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State field hockey team officially kicks off the 2004 season when it travels to the East Coast to face the Maine Black Bears at 11 a.m. Sunday in Orono, Maine. The Buckeyes follow up their season-opener with a game against the Vermont Catamounts at 11 a.m. Monday in Durham, N.H.

With the loss of four all-conference selections, the Black Bears are relying on their incoming freshman class to help lead the team to the conference championship for a third-consecutive season.

Maine concluded the 2003 season with a 15-6 overall record, including a 4-2 record in the America East conference. In the conference tournament, the Black Bears were lead by 2004 returnee Amie Dubois. The senior midfielder earned all-tournament team honors after recording a goal in the squad’s 2-0 win over New Hampshire.

Head coach Terry Kix is entering her 15th season at the helm of the Black Bears. In her career Kix has garnered a 149-95-5 record at Maine.

Ohio State is looking to extend its three-game winning streak against Maine as it won a thrilling contest over the Black Bears, 2-1, in extra periods last season.

Forward Vanessa Immordino scored the unassisted game-winning goal in overtime on a penalty corner after OSU tied the game in the second half. UMaine struck first on a penalty corner at the 33:07 mark.

On Ohio State’s first score Lucy Clayton gained possession of the ball and passed it off to Immordino who shot the ball to the right of UMaine’s goalkeeper 18:47 minutes into the half. Immordino recorded her 100th career point on the goal, placing her fourth in Ohio State’s career points records.

With the win, Ohio State gained a 3-1-1 series lead.

Vermont is welcoming 12 freshmen to the squad and plans to utilize their talent immediately. In conjunction with the rookies, the Catamounts will rely on five returning veterans, including sophomore Elizabeth Berry and senior Christie Layden, to guide the team to its goal of possession hockey.

In her seventh year as head coach, Nicki Houghton owns a 30-82-0 record. In 2002 she led the Catamounts to their first appearance in the America East tournament after a 10-year drought.

The Buckeyes and the Catamounts last squared off in 1984. The win by OSU allowed them to take a 3-1-1 series lead.

Vermont scored the first goal of the game and led at the half. However, the Scarlet and Gray rebounded in the second half by putting two scores on the board, earning the 2-1 victory.

Defender Kim Hall posted each of the Buckeye goals and forwards Kathleen Mulholland and Lorraine Mulholland were credited with an assist apiece.

Ohio State was victorious over the Calgary Dinos, 3-1, in exhibition play Aug. 21 at North Turf Field. All of the scoring action occurred in the second half, following a strong defensive stand by both teams in the first. Buckeyes Meg Lake, Florencia Stier and Cammie Trainer scored OSU’s three goals, kicking off the 2004 season.

The first 35 minutes of competition got off to a slow start as the ball was frequently exchanged between the teams. Ohio State recorded five shots to Calgary’s six and was awarded three penalty corner opportunities, while the Dinos received four.

There was an offensive surge by both teams in the second half as the Buckeyes fired 10 shots and Calgary took nine. Ohio State quickly put the first point on the board, with Stier taking advantage of a penalty corner 3:40 into the half. Less than three minutes later, the Dinos pushed the ball past the OSU defense to even up the score. On Ohio State’s fifth penalty corner of the afternoon, Trainer netted the ball above the Calgary goalie, and Laura Rosenwinkel and Deen Rebstock were credited with the assists. Finally, Lake sealed the Buckeyes’ victory with a score at the 3:78 mark.

Both Buckeye goalie Lindsay Williams and Dino goalie Burgundy Biletski were statistically even as each compiled three saves on the day.

With 19 letterwinners returning, the Ohio State field hockey team will rely on its wealth of experience to guide it in the 2004 season. The Buckeyes, led by head coach Anne Wilkinson, will combine their defensive prowess and aggressive attack to produce scoring chances.

“We are a heavy attacking team, which focuses on reading and adjusting to our opponents,” Wilkinson said. “With this year’s leadership, we are looking to possess and counterattack the ball more.”

In 2003 Ohio State compiled a 13-7 record, finished third in the conference regular season and fourth in the 2003 Big Ten Tournament. The 2004 squad, composed of a good mixture of poised forwards, speedy outside midfielders, and a solid structure of defenders, will look to increase its success in the upcoming season.

Seniors Lucy Clayton and Deen Rebstock will lead the Buckeye attack. Using their competitive spirit and physical nature to gain an advantage, Clayton will create finishing opportunities and will be a dangerous player inside the circle. In 2003, the All-Big Ten selection led the squad in shots (92) and was second in goals (15) and points (37).

Buckeye forward Rebstock will have more scoring opportunities in 2004. She has good vision on the field and creates space around the ball and in the circle. Last season, Rebstock produced three goals and three assists, while starting 19 OSU contests.

Sophomore Lauren Kruse is considered one of the most versatile players on the team and will step up in Ohio State’s offensive strategies. In addition to Kruse, Stacie Hassman and Meg Lake also will play a pivotal role in the Buckeyes’ scoring situations.

“We will have very good speed and good one-on-one abilities this season,” Wilkinson said.

Sophomore Curlyne Wynn and freshman Yesenia Luces will represent an attacking midfield that contains tremendous speed. Labeled an unpredictable player because of her swiftness, Luces will become a difficult player to locate on the field.

Wynn, the 2003 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is noted for her talent to create scoring opportunities for her teammates. In 2003, Wynn posted seven assists to complement her six goals. With her stick skills and passing ability, she is considered one of the best team players on the OSU squad.

Joining Luces and Wynn in manufacturing offensive power are junior Kateline Condon, sophomores Jessica Gofgosky, Katie Murphy and Renee Rossi, and freshmen Dana Greenhut and Honor Hansen.

“It is important we are strong and organized and make an effective transition from the backfield to the front line,” Wilkinson said.

In the Buckeyes’ emphasis on pressuring the opponent to surrender the ball, OSU will possess a solid backfield composed of Leticia Fragapane, Saskia Mueller and Cammie Trainer. All three players will act as a solid defensive unit seizing the ball and generating attacking opportunities.

As a junior, Fragapane will continue to illustrate her consistency on the field as a defensive player. During the 2003 campaign, the All-Big Ten honoree started 19-of-20 games.

Mueller, who captured a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolade during 2003, will bring composure and balance to the squad.

“Saskia is considered one of the best student-athletes in the Big Ten,” Wilkinson said. “She will be capable of receiving the ball under triple threat situations.”

As the 2003 conference and team leader in assists (11), Trainer is a natural leader on and off the field. The senior defenseman will lend her calmness to the team’s game plan.

Helping in limiting the opponent in its scoring opportunities, senior Laura Rosenwinkel will also see action at defender, along with sophomores Meghan Brookhart and Natalie Jones. The trio of freshmen joining the Buckeye backfield includes Mara Adelman, Jamie Gofgosky and Kelly Terwilliger.

Goalkeepers Tory Krauss and Lindsay Williams will share time in the net in 2004. Last season, Krauss generated 11 saves and a 2-1 record as a freshman. Williams finished the 2003 season first in saves per game in the Big Ten and, in addition to her 101 saves, Williams compiled a 12-7 record.

“This season we are looking to limit the quality of shots our opponents will have on goal,” Wilkinson said. “It also will be important for our team defense to collect the rebounds.”

Ohio State boasts a freshman class which is comprised of strong, hardworking and talented student-athletes who will contribute to the team as they gain more experience on the collegiate level.

Adelman, Gofgosky and Greenhut are steady and consistent players with the ability to break down their opponents. All three players are thoughtful in their approach to the game, which in turn will help the Buckeyes make better decisions on the field. Hansen and Terwilliger’s physical presence on the field will aid OSU in outworking their opponents, therefore allowing the team to stay in the play of each game much longer. Luces’ speed is an attribute that will complement the speed of Wynn in creating numerous scoring options.

“Each year we try to bring in a class that will raise the level and tone of the team,” Wilkinson said. “We have achieved this in recruiting athletes that have a tireless work rate and a desire to be the best.”

The Buckeyes finished the season with a 13-7 overall record, including a 4-2 record in the Big Ten.

OSU started the season with a three-game road trip to California, where it faced California, Pacific and Stanford. OSU defeated Pacific, 3-1, but fell to both California, 6-1, and Stanford, 3-2.

Although starting the season with a 1-2 record, the Buckeyes bounced back as they finished 4-1 in their five-game homestand against Kent State (W, 6-2), Radford (W, 3-0), Ohio (W, 3-2 OT), Louisville (L, 2-3 OT) and Southwest Missouri State (W, 8-1).

Ohio State returned to the road where it upset then-No. 20 Northwestern. The road became tougher as the team traveled to College Park, Md., to face Maine and then-No. 3 Maryland. OSU defeated the Black Bears 2-1 in overtime, but fell to a strong Terrapin squad, 3-1.

Continuing their road trip, the Buckeyes defeated Ball State, but lost a tight game to then-No. 8 Penn State, 3-2, in another overtime contest.

OSU finished its last five games with a 4-1 record, winning four consecutive games – then-No. 9 Iowa, 2-1, Miami, 8-0, Indiana, 2-1 (OT) and then-No. 5 Michigan, 2-1.

The team completed the regular season in East Lansing, where it fell to then-No. 5 Michigan State, 5-0.

In Big Ten tournament action, the Buckeyes finished 1-1, defeating Northwestern, 3-2, and falling to Michigan State, 3-0, in the semifinals.

Senior Vanessa Immordino, who was the 2003 team goals and points leader, concluded her OSU career on the first-team NFHCA All-America team and first-team All-Big Ten team. Immordino, a 2003 Honda Award finalist, finished in the Top 5 in two categories in the Buckeye record books. She is third in career points (127) and fourth in career goals (52).

During the Big Ten tournament, Saskia Mueller and Curlyne Wynn were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Lucy Clayton and Immordino earned first-team All-Big Ten Team honors and Leticia Fragapane garnered second-team accolades. Wynn captured the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award