COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team opens the 2010 campaign playing host to Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 7:30 p.m. Friday before taking on Big East power Marquette at 1 p.m. Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Admission is free to all.
Both teams made the NCAA Tournament a season ago as Wisconsin-Milwaukee posted a 12-6-3 record and Marquette finished 15-5-3.
A LOOK AT 2010
The Buckeyes have a combined 371 career starts among 14 returning upperclassmen. Twenty letterwinners and nine starters are back off last year’s team that finished 14-4-2, 7-2-1 in the Big Ten and will join a group of seven talented freshmen in 2010.
Freshmen or sophomores accounted for 24 of 39 goals last season and the Buckeyes welcome back all four starters from last year’s back line that played a huge part in giving up a program record low 13 goals, down from 39 two years ago.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 10-time defending Horizon League regular season champion, is under the direction of 14th-year head coach Michael Moynihan. The Panthers return 2009 Horizon League Player of the Year Sarah Hagen. The junior has notched 24 goals in each of her first two seasons, leading the country last season. Eight of 11 starters and individuals who scored 44 of 49 goals return for Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Ohio State fell to the Panthers, 4-3, in 2008 in the lone match of the all-time series.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Under 15th year head coach Markus Roeders, the Golden Eagles welcome back five starters and 23 letterwinners after capturing the program’s first Big East American Division championship last season. First-team All-Big East forward Rachael Sloan returns after scoring seven goals and adding five assists a season ago. Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Kulla returns after posting a 0.50 goals-against average a year ago.
Ohio State trails the all-time series, 1-2-1, after losing to Marquette in overtime in 2008.
THE COACHING STAFF
Ohio State is under the direction of 14th-year head coach Lori Walker. She has guided the team to five NCAA tournament berths (2002-03-04-07-09) as well as two Big Ten tournament championships (2002 and 2004). Greg Miller is in his third season as associate head coach and 10th overall with the Buckeyes. The 2010 season marks the third season for assistant coach Glen Tourville and the first for student assistant coach Lauren Robertson.
Cassie Dickerson was named a team captain for the third-consecutive season and is joined by defenders Lauren Beachy and Danielle Scoliere. The trio has combined for 116 career starts.
WHAT DO THE COACHES THINK?
Ohio State was picked to finish second in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll. Penn State garnered the top spot in voting by the coaches for the eighth consecutive season.
PACK THE BUS WEEKEND
Don’t forget to bring a pack of markers, pencils or any extra school supplies to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this weekend. All supplies will be donated to Innis Elementary School in Columbus.
AT HOME AT JESSE OWENS
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium has proved to be a more than advantageous home for the Buckeyes in its 11 years of existence. Consider:
– The home team is 74-31-9 all-time.
– Ohio State is 55-14-7 since 2003 and 30-9-3 since 2006.
– The Buckeyes went 9-2-0 in 2009.
10 AT HOME…AND ADMISSION IS FREE
The Buckeyes’ schedule includes 10 matches at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season with Big Ten action kicking off Oct. 3 against rival and Big Ten preseason favorite Penn State. 2010 marks the second consecutve season that admission to all Ohio State home soccer matches is free to all.
The Buckeyes travel to Pittsburgh for a 7:30 p.m. match Aug. 27 before returning home to take on West Virginia at 1 p.m. August 29.