Feb. 6, 2004
Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio State women's soccer program and head coach Lori Walker announced the commitment of seven student-athletes to join the Buckeye program for the upcoming 2004 campaign Friday. Featured in the class are international standouts Lara Dickenmann from Switzerland and Lisa Collison from Ontario, Canada. The class also includes two from the state of California in Carla Arbulu and Heather Young as well as three additions from Ohio in Keiana Mitchell from Cincinnati, Lindsay Mays of Columbus and Jessica Roberts, a native of Strongsville.
The seven-member class will bolster an Ohio State team that returns all 11 starters from 2003 and is coming off its best season in the 10-year history of the program, as the Buckeyes advanced to the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State reached new plateaus despite playing the year without two-time offensive most valuable player Lisa Grubb, who was lost for the 2003 campaign after suffering a season-ending injury in the season-opener. The Buckeyes also played the 2003 campaign without Kristen Clark, who was lost for the season to injury, and K.C. Rosenfeld, a top recruit from 2003 who will join the class of 2008 after red-shirting last season because of injury.
Ohio State head coach Lori Walker is thrilled with the talented players the team has added in the recruiting class and expects each to make immediate contributions to the nationally-recognized Buckeye program.
"Each year Ohio State looks to set the bar one notch higher," Walker said. "We have done that each of the last three seasons and this class will allow us to continue our rise to national prominence. To return all 11 starters from last year and then add Lisa Grubb, Kristen Clark, K.C. Rosenfeld and this special incoming class to the team is a dream come true for any coach. We cannot wait for August and the start of the season."
Walker added an international flavor to the recruit class this season as Dickenmann and Collison join the Buckeyes after standout careers on the international level.
Dickenmann, a native of Kriens, Switzerland, can play both forward and in the midfield. She is a standout starter for the Swiss National Team and its Under-19 (U-19) squad. Dickenmann also has led her club team, Sursee, to two national championships.
Collison, a forward from Niagara Falls, Ontario, is a starter for the U-19 Canadian National Team and recently represented her country in the Pan American Games. Collison also has been the top goal scorer for her Ontario provincial team, leading the squad to three consecutive national championships.
"Adding outstanding players from different regions and backgrounds brings a unique flavor to our team," Walker said. "Dickenmann is arguably the top player in Switzerland, while Collison has become a consistent goal-scoring threat for Canada's U-19 team. Both are experienced as winners. As the top goal scorer, Collison has led her Ontario squad to three consecutive national championships. Dickenmann has been on two Swiss national championship teams."
In 2004, the Buckeyes also have received two top commitments from California as OSU adds forwards Heather Young and Carla Arbulu to the squad.
Young, a star player for the San Diego Surf Soccer Club, is a six-time member of the Southern California state team, a five-year member of the Region IV Olympic Development (ODP) team and also has participated in the U.S. Soccer Youth National Pool. Young competed for the USYS National All-Star Team in April 2003, playing matches against the national teams from Germany and Holland. Young also excelled in softball and field hockey for Torrey Pines High School.
Arbulu is a five-year member of the Southern California state team and a four-year competitor on the Region IV ODP team or pool. A member of the So Cal United Soccer Club, Arbulu also had a standout career at Arroyo Grande High School, earning first team all-league honors each year of her scholastic career. Arbulu is a well-rounded athlete that excelled in volleyball, basketball and track and field.
"We are excited to bring in top recruits from California again this year," Walker, whose program landed highly regarded goalkeeper Staci Sinkway from Mission Viejo, Calif. in 2003, said. "There is a tremendous connection between Ohio State University and California with many alums championing the Buckeye name out west."
In addition to an impressive out-of-region and international class, Walker added a trio of stellar Ohio products in Mays, Mitchell and Roberts, who all are veterans of the ODP system.
The Buckeyes added offensive punch in Mays, a three-time member of the Region II ODP team who also captained her club team, Ohio Premier, to a state championship and the regional semifinals. She also was recognized for her outstanding play at Dublin Scioto High School in both soccer and basketball, receiving conference awards in each sport.
Mitchell and Roberts come to Ohio State as renowned defenders and multiple all-league selections at their respective schools.
Mitchell, a Region II ODP Pool Player, earned All-Miami Valley Conference (MVC) awards from 2000 to 2003 and was named to the Cincinnati All-City team following the 2001, '02 and '03 seasons. The Cincinnati Enquire named Mitchell to its all-star squads from 2001-03 as well. The MVC co-MVP in 2003 was named second team All-Ohio in her senior season. Mitchell also helped the Dayton Soccer Academy to a youth state championship in 2003. In addition to her soccer exploits, Mitchell was a 2003 MVC First Team performer on the track as a member of the Country Day 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams.
Roberts, a Region II ODP Pool Player, will join Mitchell in the Ohio State backline. She climaxed her scholastic career honored as All-Ohio, All-Midwest and Pioneer Conference (PC) player of the year in 2003. Roberts also was named a NSCAA All-American after finishing second in the voting for 2003 Ohio Player of the Year. A PC honoree in each of her four seasons at Strongsville High School, Roberts helped the Mustangs to the 2002 state championship and regional championships in 2001 and '03. Roberts was the PC rookie of the year in 2000 and went on to garner 2002 Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Year honors.
"One of our goals every year is to keep the best players in Ohio at home," Walker said. "We are so excited that such talented players have chosen to carry on all of the traditions that make Ohioans so proud to be Buckeyes like Mays, Mitchell and Roberts."
Ohio State Women's Soccer 2004 Recruiting Class
Player Hometown Club Team Highest Olympic Development
Carla Arbulu Grover Beach, California So Cal United Regional Team
Lisa Collison Niagara Falls, Canada Oakville Angels U19 National Team
Lara Dickenmann Kriens, Switzerland Sursee Full Women's National Team
Lindsay Mays Powell, Ohio Ohio Premier Regional Team
Keiana Mitchell Cincinnati, Ohio DSA Regional Pool
Jessica Roberts Strongsville, Ohio Ohio Premier Regional Pool
Heather Young Del Mar, California Surf National Pool