Feb. 8, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's soccer team wasted no time reloading its 2005 roster. Head coach Lori Walker announced commitments from five top recruits to join the Buckeyes for the upcoming 2005 season. Featured in the class are international star Lisa Collison from Ontario, Canada and talented forward Caitlin Colfer, from New York. Joining Collison and Colfer is Ohio standout Amy Graeff. Two Georgia natives, Courtney Cripps and Christine Lu, also join the Buckeyes.
With the five-member class, Ohio State will look to improve on its best season in school history. The Buckeyes finished a program-best 19-4-3, won the Big Ten tournament title and advanced to the NCAA "Elite Eight" before falling 1-0 in the national quarterfinal. Ohio State showcased 2004 SoccerBuzz and Soccer America National Freshman of the Year Lara Dickenmann (Kriens, Switzerland), who set OSU records with 38 points, 13 goals and 12 assists. In all, the Buckeyes return seven starters and the team's Top 4 leading scorers, including 30-point scorers Lisa Grubb (Sr., Portage, Mich.) and Danielle Dietrich (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio). Two-time All-American Melissa Miller (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio) returns in the backline as well as standout defender Keiana Mitchell (So., Cincinnati, Ohio), who earned All-Great Lakes recognition as a freshman last season.
Walker is thrilled with the talented players the team has added and expects each to make immediate contributions to the nationally recognized Buckeye program.
"This is an exciting and extremely athletic class we are adding to the mix of players returning on the current team," Walker said. "We have lost some important leadership and we will have to work hard to replace that, but the 2005 squad clearly will be the most talented we have ever had here at Ohio State." Collison, a forward from Niagara Falls, Ontario, was a starter for the U-19 Canadian National Team and represented her country in the 2003 Pan American Games. Collison also has been the top goal scorer for her Ontario provincial team, leading the squad to three consecutive national championships. Collison was chosen as one of the top national recruits for 2004 before deciding to defer her admission to Ohio State until January 2005.
Colfer, who is graduating early to join the Buckeyes in March, will provide the Buckeyes with added speed and scoring ability. A product of Colonie Central High School in Albany, N.Y., Colfer twice was named an NSCAA/Adidas High School All-American (2003 and `04). She also is the first Suburban Council player to score more than 100 career goals (103 goals/31 assists). In addition, Colfer led the Yankee United Hurricanes to the Connecticut U-17 state cup championship in 2004 and was a member of the Albertson Express U-18 team, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation and won the state championship for three consecutive years (2002-04). She also was selected to play on the Region 1 ODP team and chosen to compete for the U-19 inter-regional event at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Colfer was the representative for Team USA in the 2004 International U-17 Tournament in Castlebar, Ireland.
"We like to play an exciting attack-oriented style at Ohio State," Walker said. "With all three forward starters returning, the young talent already here and the attack-minded newcomers, there certainly will be a great variety in the ways we can score next season."
The Buckeyes also received commitments from a pair of Georgia student-athletes in Lu, a midfielder, and Cripps, who is a goalkeeper.
Lu, a native of Peachtree City, Ga., was a standout member of the Peachtree City Lazers, where she led her team to the 2004 Region III finals. Lu participated with the Region III Pool from 2000-02 and played for the Georgia ODP for three years.
Cripps played goalkeeper for the United Quest team and was a four-year letterwinner at North Cobb High School. Her United Quest team won the 2004 State Cup Championship and was runner-up in 2002. She was named to the Georgia All-State team from 2002-04 and was selected to the regional camp team in 2002 and `03.
In addition, Walker and her staff landed an exciting Ohio product in defender Graeff
Graeff, a two-time member of the ODP Region II team, played for Westerville North High School and was member of the 2002, '03 and `04 district and state teams. Graeff also was the 2004 OCC Player of the Year and earned numerous all-state awards.
Also adding to the 2005 class is Jessica Roberts, a Region II ODP Pool defender, who accepted a redshirt in 2004. 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.