Aug. 24, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio State women’s soccer team opens the 2000 regular season this weekend, hosting Oakland and Syracuse.

The Buckeyes take on the Golden Grizzlies in the season opener at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. OSU will face the Orangewomen of Syracuse at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. Both games will be played at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, located on the Ohio State campus just north of the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Tickets are available at the gate or by calling 1-800-GO BUCKS.

Who’s Back?

Ohio State returns 11 of 15 starters in hopes of building on last year’s successful 12-6-2 regular season record.

Senior goalkeeper Amber Barnes returns as a three-year starter in goal for the Buckeyes. She has posted impressive numbers in each of her three seasons, including a stellar 1998 season in which she broke numerous school records. She has proven herself to be one of the best goalkeepers in OSU history, ranking first in career goals against average (1.33) and shutouts (20.5).

The 2000 starting lineup will be dominated by underclassmen. The squad consists of nine sophomores and juniors who saw significant playing time last season. Leading the regime is junior midfielder Emily Thorpe, 1999 team MVP, and sophomore forward Lindsey Eckles. Thorpe, who Walker calls the fastest player on the team, started all 20 games in the Buckeye midfield last season and finished the year second on the team in scoring (6 G, 4 A). Eckles returns as the team’s leading scorer. She started 12 games last season at the forward position and finished with nine goals and two assists for 20 points. She took 71 shots on goal, far more than any other player on the team. (Thorpe came in second with 49 shots). Senior Mia Katzel returns to the Buckeye offense with an important role as a reserve forward. She is expected to have a critical role in being a first attacker.

Sophomores Jen Miller and Lizzy Moore will look to dominate the Buckeye defense. Miller will be the go-to person to run the defense in front of the goalkeeper while Moore has the ability to physically intimidate opponents. Senior Amanda Orr returns to the Buckeye lineup as a three-year starter on the Buckeye defense.

Sophomore Kiley Enmark, who started 12 games in the midfield last season, is expected to be the cornerstone of the midfield, assisted by juniors Jamie Minteer and Brooke Thomas. Thomas, who transferred from the University of Cincinnati after the 1998 season, will start at midfield.

Leading an impressive pack of Buckeye forwards is junior Courtney Nein, who played in all 20 games last season and tallied 22 shots on goal. With great depth at the forward position this year, sophomores Shelley and Kara Brant and juniors Melanie Vierling and Brynn Catino will each be competing for a starting spot. All four have been key contributors off the bench and saw a reasonable amount of playing time last season.

Who’s New?

The 2000 freshman class, consisting of Kristina D’Antonio, Stacia Daum, Jennica Kidd, Jennifer Ulrey, and Liz White was designed to fill specific voids left by graduation.

D’Antonio brings international experience to the Buckeyes, having represented the United States as a former member of the Under 16 National Team. Daum, a defender, is known for her hard-nosed tackles and smothering man-marking. Daum played club ball with Ohio Premier Soccer Club, the same team as current Buckeye Lindsay Eckles. Kidd comes to Ohio State after playing club ball with the Ambassador Soccer Club under former Buckeye All-American Jodie Stranges. She possesses skillful long ball service and ball-winning tenacity in the midfield. Ulrey joins the Buckeyes as a goalkeeper. She will add depth to the position and will be competing for a starting spot with Barnes and returning redshirt freshman keeper Anna Mitchell. White is a midfielder who has great mobility and vision and is a natural leader.

Last Week

The Buckeyes have been back for two weeks preparing for the regular season. After a week of hard practices, they defeated Butler 2-0 in an exhibition match Aug. 19 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Although the game or the stats did not count towards season records, the Buckeyes played like it counted. After playing through a scoreless first half, junior Courtney Nein scored 10 minutes into the second half off an assist from teammate Lizzy Moore to make it 1-0. Junior Emily Thorpe netted OSU’s second goal at 70:56.

The Buckeyes outshot the Bulldogs 8-4 and senior goalkeeper Amber Barnes tallied four saves.

Scouting Oakland

The Golden Grizzlies capped off their first full season in the Mid-Continent Conference last year by winning the regular season championship. Head coach Nick O’Shea guided his team to a flawless 5-0 conference record and a 14-4-1 record overall. Oakland lost to Valparaiso in the semifinals of the Mid-Con Conference tournament, 4-2 on penalty kicks.

Eleven letterwinners, including nine starters, return from last year’s squad and will join 15 newcomers. Senior forward Kristin Luoma led the team in scoring last year, with 17 goals and a total of 45 points. She finished 12th in the nation with a 2.37 points per game average and was selected first team All-Mid-Con and all-region. Midfielder Anita Rapp, also returning for her senior season, was selected her conference’s Co-Player of the Year, and earned all-region and GTE Academic All-America honors for District IV. She finished seventh in the nation with a 0.71 assists per game average. Rapp scored seven goals and added 12 assists for a total of 26 points.

This is the first match-up between the Buckeyes and the Golden Grizzlies.

Scouting Syracuse

Head coach April Kater guided the Orangewomen to a 12-6-2 overall record and a 3-1-1 record in the Big East conference in 1999. Syracuse lost to Seton Hall in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament and finished the season in second place in the Northeast division.

Thirteen letterwinners, including seven starters, return from last year’s squad and will join nine newcomers. The Orangewomen will play this season without Jenna Szyluk, the team’s second-leading scorer in 1999, who graduated. Junior forward Candy Reich will look to fill the gap. Reich led the team in scoring last season, having scored nine goals and added five assists for a total of 23 points. Senior Erin O’Grady is SU’s all-time career leader in goals and points and will provide leadership along with senior Cindy Wolf. Katie Karlander returns as the team’s starting goalkeeper. As a freshman last season, Karlander had an 11-5-2 record with a 1.06 goals against average and 6.5 shutouts.

This is the second time Ohio State has faced Syracuse, the first being Sept. 1, 1999. The Buckeyes defeated the Orangewomen, 2-0.