COLUMBUS, Ohio Ashley Bowyer, a junior midfielder who led the team with seven assists and who has started every game over the last three years, was selected by her teammates as the 2008 Ohio State soccer Most Valuable Player. Bowyer and five other 2008 award winners were honored at the team’s annual awards brunch, held last Saturday at Ohio Stadium.

“This is an important award for Ashley to earn because her teammates chose her as the team’s MVP,” Ohio State head coach Lori Walker said. “She was the player over the past year who the team would miss the most if, for some reason, she wasn’t out on the field playing.”

Bowyer, a team captain last year, is from Aliso Viejo, Calif. She will be one of two senior leaders on the team this fall along with talented goalkeeper Lauren Robertson. Bowyer is the leader among all current Buckeyes with 62 starts, 11 career assists and 23 career points. Her assists and points totals are tied for 13th and 17th, respectively, all-time at Ohio State.

Maxwell Offensive MVP
Freshman Paige Maxwell, from Medina, Ohio and Medina H.S., was named the team’s Most Valuable Player on offense after leading the team with eight goals and 18 points. She also tied for the team lead with 19 shots on goal and her 39 total shots ranked second on the team.

Maxwell scored game-winning goals against Northwestern and Iowa and it was her goal in the Big Ten Tournament that tied the score at 1-all with Purdue. In the regular season game against Iowa at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Maxwell tied the Ohio State school record with three goals in the 3-2 Ohio State win. 

Her play earned Maxwell two season-long honors: she was named to the all-freshman second team, and she was named to the Big Ten Conference all-freshman team.

Steuer Repeats as Defensive MVP
Lauren Steuer, a third-year sophomore from Cincinnati and McNicholas H.S., was chosen as the team’s Most Valuable Player on defense for the second consecutive year. Steuer started 20 games at one defender position and played a team-leading 1,649 minutes. She has started 42 of the team’s 43 games the past two seasons.

Beachy Honored Twice
Lauren Beachy, from Loveland, Ohio and Winton Woods H.S., received the Elisa S. Hamilton award which goes to the player who consistently displays relentless intensity, passion and fury in her play. This is the second consecutive year Beachy has been honored with the Hamilton award.

Beachy, who played in all 20 games with 19 starts at either a midfield or defender position and who was tied for second on the team with four assists, was the recipient of a Coaches’ Award, as well. 

Fiery Buckeye to Sullivan
Liz Sullivan was named the winner of Walker’s Fiery Buckeye Award. The freshman from Powell, Ohio and Olentangy Liberty H.S., was honored for displaying mature play and an experience level beyond a typical freshman. She also was a responsible leader on and off the field for the Buckeyes. Sullivan started 19 games at defender in 2008 and registered one assist.

Most Improved to Moront
Taylor Moront was named the team’s Most Improved Player. A freshman from Toledo and Saint Ursula Academy, Moront played in 19 games with one start and ranked second among Buckeyes with four goals. Her eight points ranked fourth on the team. She led with a shots-on-goal percentage of .500 (6-of-12) with goals scored against Duke, in wins over Evansville and Louisville, and against Michigan State.