COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes will make their third consecutive  Big Ten Tournament appearance and their 13th all-time appearance when they take on Purdue in a 1 p.m. (Central Time) game Thursday at the Iowa Soccer Complex (cap. 1,000) in Iowa City, Iowa.

  The Buckeyes enter the tournament after an 8-9-2 regular season that included a 5-5-0 mark in the Big Ten. Purdue, a nemesis of Ohio State of late with six consecutive wins, including a 3-0 win Oct. 24 in West Lafayette, Ind., went 11-6-3 this season and 5-3-2 in the Big Ten.

This will be the final Big Ten women’s soccer tournament. Ohio State is a two-time tournament champion, winning in 2002 and 2004, and seeks a third in its 13th appearance to secure a fifth NCAA tournament bid.
Team Snapshots: Ohio State started 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time in its history, dropped five of six at one point, but then finished with a confidence-boosting, 1-0, win at Penn State Friday to finish 5-5-0 in the Big Ten and in a tie for sixth place. Ohio State has just one multi-goal game in its past eight games, that being a 3-2 win over Iowa Oct. 17. Some quick key stats:

OSU scores 1.37 goals per game; allows 1.63;
OSU averages 12.7 shots; opponents: 14.9;

  Purdue, the defending Big Ten tournament champion, started 4-1-1 in the Big Ten and ended 1-2-1 to complete its 5-3-2 conference mark. The Boilermakers are coming off 2-0 and 1-0 losses to Penn State and Illinois, respectively.
The field and schedule for the opening round games is as follows: 

Game 1 at 10 a.m.
No. 2 Minnesota (18-2-0, 8-2-0 Big Ten) vs.
  No. 7 Northwestern (10-8-1, 5-5-0)
Game 2 at 1 p.m.
No. 3 Purdue (11-6-3, 5-3-2) vs.
  No. 6 Ohio State (8-9-2, 5-5-0)
Game 3 at 4 p.m.
No. 1 Penn State (13-7-0, 8-2-0) vs.
  No. 8 Iowa (9-10-1, 3-6-1)
Game 4 at 7 p.m.
No. 4 Michigan State (13-5-2, 5-4-1) vs.
  No. 5 Illinois (11-8-0, 5-5-0)

The semifinal round Friday will match the winners of Games 1 and 2 (in a 1 p.m. CT game), and 3 and 4 (in a 3:30 p.m. game).

Both semifinal games Friday will be televised live by the Big Ten Network. The championship game at 2 p.m. CT Sunday will also be televised by the BTN to a live national audience.

Ohio State, under the direction of 12th-year coach Lori Walker (127-101-20), has an all-time Big Ten tournament record of 8-10-3 and tournament titles in 2002 and 2004.

OSU Year-by-Year Tournament Results
 L, 1-3 vs. Minnesota (Madison)
1995 L, 1-3 at Indiana
1996 L, 1-2 Michigan (Columbus) 
1997 L, 0-3 vs. Michigan (Minneapolis)
1998 W, 1-0 vs. Wisconsin (Univ. Park)
     W, 3-2 vs. Indiana
     L, 0-2 at Penn State
1999 L 0-2 vs. Minnesota (Bloomington)
2001 W, 2-1 vs. Purdue (W. Lafayette)
     L, 0-2, vs. Penn State
2002 T, 1-1* vs. Purdue (Madison)
     T, 1-1* vs. Michigan
     W, 2-1 at Wisconsin
2003 L, 1-2 OT vs. Michigan (Madison)
2004 W, 2-0 Purdue (Columbus)
     W, 5-2 Michigan
     W, 2-0 Penn State
2006 L, 1-2 OT vs. Purdue (Univ. Park)
2007 W, 2-1 OT vs. Indiana (Minneapolis)
     T, 2-2* vs. Penn State
     L, 1-3 vs. Purdue
* Ohio State advanced on penalty kicks.

Ohio State is tied for second with Wisconsin and Michigan with two Big Ten tournament championships and it is fourth with four title game appearances. Penn State leads in championships (four) and appearances (six). Here’s more Ohio State tournament notes:

This is the third consecutive year Ohio State and Purdue have met in the tournament.
Ohio State advanced to its fourth tournament championship game in 2007 at Minnesota, losing to Purdue in the finals, 3-1.
Purdue has won the last two times the teams have met in the tournament: 3-1 in 2007 and 2-1 in overtime in 2006 at University Park.
Ohio State and Purdue have met five times in the Big Ten tournament with each team winning twice with one tie. The tie came in a 2002 semifinal in East Lansing with Ohio State advancing, 5-4, on penalty kicks.
Ohio State defeated Purdue in tournament play in 2001 in West Lafayette, Ind., 2-1 in overtime, and, 2-0, in Columbus in 2004.

This series, which is tied, 7-7-2, has been one of streaks. Ohio State has lost six consecutive games to Purdue. This coming after Ohio State went 7-1-2 in the first 10 games between the two teams. Ohio State’s last win over the Boilermakers came in 2004, 2-0. Purdue has defeated Ohio State twice in each of the past two years.

Purdue’s top three scorers accounted for four points in the first 20 minutes and the Boilermakers defeated Ohio State, 3-0. Loredana Riverso set up Lauren Montenegro for a goal in the 7th minute and Kellie Phillips assisted on Felicia Schroeder’s goal in the 26th. Riverso scored late in the first half to give Purdue a 3-0 lead.

A school record-tying 35th career goal by Lisa Collison and a marvelous, 11-save effort by Lauren “Taz” Robertson sparked Ohio State to a much needed, 1-0, win over Penn State Friday in State College, Pa. The win snaps a streak of 67 Big Ten regular season and tournament games at Jeffrey Field without a loss for Penn State, dating to 1995.

  Courtney Jenkins sent a corner kick into the box that Ashley Bowyer headed toward Penn State All-American keeper Alyssa Naeher. The ball deflected off Naeher and Collison was there to score her seventh goal of the season to tie Lisa Grubb on the all-time goal scoring list. 

  “Taz,” playing her first game after missing four with a leg injury, faced 30 shots in recording her fifth shutout this season and 17th of her career.

Lisa Collison and “Taz” Robertson were selected as the  Big Ten Conference offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively, for their efforts in the win over Penn State. Ohio State has had five players of the week this year.

  Sept. 22 – Collison Off. PoW
  Sept. 29 – Robertson co-Def. PoW
  Oct. 6 – Paige Maxwell Off. PoW
  Nov. 3 – Collison Off. PoW
  Nov. 3 – Robertson Def. PoW

More weekly award good stuff: Robertson was also named to the respective and the “national” teams of the week. Collison and Maxwell have previously been named to the national team of the week. The is the first award of the season. 

Three Ohio State starters/key reserves have been lost for the season (D Cassie Dickerson to a knee injury; M Emily Esbrook to a surgery; and M Caitlyn Martin to a stress fracture) plus “Taz” Robertson missed four games. As a result, the coaches have used 15 different starting lineups. Purdue probables:

GK: “Taz.” She’s mentally tough, athletic and her last-line-of-defense leadership is critical.

Defender: The back line is led by the youth group. True frosh hold the outside positions – Danielle Scoliere and Liz Sullivan – with two-year starter Lauren Steuer and frosh Colleen Brady the central defenders. Lauren Beachy was starting outside, but she has adjusted nicely to playing as a middie. M Kelsi Landry also has experience on the back line. She, too, is just a frosh.

Midfield: Ashley Bowyer lines up as a central defender, but she can move outside and she is a QB on the field. She can bend it with the best and leads the team with seven assists. Soph Courtney Jenkins is the other central defender. She made the All-Big Ten freshman team in 2007. Soph Lauren Beachy has 18 starts, five at midfield. Alex Burzynski has made 10 starts. She led the team with six goals in 2007. Landry is getting more playing time here of late.

Forward: Six different players have started at forward. Paige Maxwell (7-2-16) and Lisa Collison (7-2-16) are the team’s primary goal scorers with Taylor Moront (4 goals off 6 shots) always lurking dangerously inside the box.

Bench: A successful tourney run will require productive, high energy minutes when called upon from Genna Brand (1g-2a-4p), Ali Schwach (1-0-2), Brook Taylor (1-1-3), co-captain Amy Graeff, Lauren Cusick and sophomores Laura Roberts and Shawn Skladany.

An unfortunate bump to the head will keep Caitlin Colfer sidelined during the tourney. The senior scored in the title game last year. She will travel and support the team from the sidelines. 
The points breakdown: seniors have 18 points (7 goals, 4 assists); juniors 11 (2-7); sophomores 21 (5-11); freshmen 33 (12-9).
Seven true freshmen have started games.
Ohio State is outscoring its opponents, 11-6, in the first half but is being outscored, 24-14, in the second.
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