Oct. 15, 2002

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State Women’s soccer team (4-8-1, 2-4-1) saddles up for a trip north for matches with Wisconsin (7-5-3, 3-2-2) and Minnesota. The Buckeyes and Badgers will battle Friday night at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) and will conclude the weekend trip with a Sunday match versus Minnesota ( 6-7-1, 1-6-0) set to kickoff at 2 p.m.

Ohio State has been an active competitor in Big Ten women’s soccer since 1993 and has amassed an overall conference record of 30-61-5 (.339). The Buckeyes snapped a five-game conference winless streak with a victory over Illinois this past Sunday. Dating back to last season, Ohio State has a 6-4-1 ledger over its last dozen regular season conference matches, including a win over then-No. 4 Penn State on Oct. 26 of last season and a 0-0 tie with then-No. 20 Purdue this season on Sept. 27th.

Ohio State women’s soccer head coach Lori Walker signed a new three-year contract on October 4th that will keep her at the helm of the Buckeye program through the 2006 season.

“The three-year contract exemplifies the commitment Ohio State has to the women’s soccer program and the trust that the athletics department has in my goals for the program and the direction we are headed,” Walker said. “That sense of trust validates our pursuit of being a national contender for years to come. The new contract will definitely help us in recruiting.”

Ohio State director of athletics Andy Geiger is pleased to extend coach Walker’s tenure at the university.

“We are delighted to have Lori continue her work in building the Ohio State women’s soccer program into a Big Ten and national contender,” Geiger said.

Now in her sixth season as head coach, Walker has amassed a 54-53-6 record (.504) with OSU, including two 12-plus win campaigns. She is 19-31-5 (.390) in Big Ten play and stands 67-76-7 (.470) overall as a collegiate coach following a two-year stint at Kansas.

Ohio State dominated second half play in both of its matches last week, out-shooting Iowa and Illinois by a combined figure of 35-6 in both second stanzas. That astonishing figure, however, resulted in just a 1-1 record for the weekend as OSU fell by a 3-1 count to Iowa on Friday, but rebounded Sunday with a 2-1 win over Illinois.

On Friday, Iowa jumped out to an early and insurmountable 3-0 lead just fifteen minutes into the contest scoring on each of its first three shots. The Hawkeyes held off a furious OSU second half attack that racked-up a 20-4 advantage in shot attempts to capture the 3-1 victory. Buckeye freshman Colleen Hoban notched her fifth goal of the season at the 57:20 mark of the match.

On Sunday, OSU found itself down at the half against Illinois as well, but out-scored the Illini 2-0 in the second period to record the 2-1 come-from-behind win. The Buckeye comeback was fueled by forwards Lisa Grubb (So., Portage, Mich.) and Danielle Dietrich (Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio) who combined for both of the OSU tallies. Dietrich, a true-freshman, tied the match at one goal apiece with a scoring shot from nearly 30 yards out and contributed to the game-winning goal as she assisted Grubb on a nifty back-kicked goal for the go-ahead score. OSU defender Jen Miller was also credited with the assist on the play.

Wisconsin, which dropped its first three Big Ten matches in 2002 conference play, has rebounded to take four of its last five games to improve to 7-5-3 on the season and climb into the top five of the Big Ten standings.

The Badger offense is led by forward Jenny Kundert who has netted five goals and seven assists for a total of 17 points.

Wisconsin is under the direction of ninth-year head coach Dean Duerst (99-68-23 .579). Duerst will be looking to record his 100th career win when the Buckeyes and Badgers take the field Friday night.

Wisconsin holds the all-time series edge at 6-2-2 over OSU and has never lost to Ohio State in Madison, holding a 4-0 advantage versus the Buckeyes at home.

Minnesota began the 2002 season by claiming wins in six of its first seven contests, but things have headed south for the northern most school in the Big Ten as it has won just once over its last eight games and has fallen into last place in the conference standings.

Leading the Gopher attack is the Big Ten’s third-leading scorer in forward Rachel Roth. Roth, who also ranks second in the conference with 55 shots attempts, has tallied 22 points on 10 goals and two assists.

At the helm for the Gophers is third-year head coach Barbara Wickstand. Wickstand has commanded the Gophers to a 19-29-2 overall record in her tenure at Minnesota.

The Golden Gophers hold a commanding 8-2-1 record all-time against the Buckeyes, including a 4-1 mark in games played in Minneapolis. Minnesota has claimed victory in each of the last three meetings.

Senior forward Lindsay Eckles, a Hilliard, Ohio native, set the school record for career shot attempts in OSU’s 2-1 victory over Northwestern on Sept. 22.

Eckles, who registered three shots during the match, set the mark with her initial shot of the first period. Eckles entered the game tied with former Buckeye great Lisa Suttmiller (1994-97) with 204 career strikes and has now staked claim to the top spot with a career ledger of 217.

Ohio State continued to add to its advantage in the shot attempt department this season as the Buckeyes combined to out-shoot Iowa and Illinois by a combined figure of 48-20 over the weekend. This weekend’s performance has widened the margin of shots to an astounding 204-133 Buckeye edge, including a 110-69 ledger in shots on goal. The Buckeyes are averaging 15.7 shots per game compared to their counterparts at 10.2.

Individually, Lisa Grubb ranks second in Big Ten conference play in both total shots (25) and shots per game (3.57).

OSU has five nationally-ranked opponents in the NSCAA and SoccerBuzz preseason polls slated for the 2002 schedule. The match with Michigan on Oct. 6 marked the fifth contest of the season versus a nationally-ranked opponent. So far OSU is 0-4-1 versus the country’s elite, but has held each contest to within two goals or less.

The Buckeyes performed well against the nation’s top programs during the 2001 season, collecting a 2-2 record that featured wins at No. 9 Connecticut and over No. 4 Penn State. In addition, OSU pushed top-ranked North Carolina last November as the Tarheels escaped Columbus with a tightly contested 2-0 victory. The Buckeyes ended their season with a 2-0 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tourney semifinal.

A handful of career records are in jeopardy of falling in the 2002 season as senior Lindsay Eckles, a Hilliard, Ohio native, needs just four goals to take over the top spot from Lisa Suttmiller (1994-97), who finished her Buckeye career with 30 goals. In addition, Eckles is just eight points shy of overtaking second place on the all-time points list.

Jen Miller also has a shot to climb up the OSU charts in career assists. She has moved into a tie for third all-time with 13 career marks and needs four more this season to take over as second in assists in Buckeye history.

Ohio State travels to State College, Pa. to conclude the 2002 Big Ten regular season with a match at Penn State on Friday Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Ohio State returns home a week later for matches against intrastate rivals Kent State and Cincinnati. The Buckeyes will face the Golden Flashes Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. and the Bearcats on Saturday night with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.