June 1, 2005
Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio State women's soccer team finalized its 2005 schedule Tuesday. The reigning 2004 Big Ten Tournament champion and national-quarterfinalist squad faces another challenging slate that includes eight of its first nine matches away from Columbus. The Buckeyes return home for five-straight league tilts at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, featuring a match up with conference power Penn State. The Buckeyes downed the Nittany Lions, 2-0, to win the Big Ten tournament last November in JOMS.
"The Big Ten is always up for grabs," Lori Walker, who enters her ninth season as head coach at Ohio State, said. "There is not an easy game in the conference. There is a lot of respect for this league top-to-bottom and we cannot count anyone out. For that reason, it is crucial that we play a demanding out-of-conference schedule to prepare for what lies ahead in the Big Ten season."
Although Ohio State plays each of its first four games outside of Columbus, the Buckeyes do have the opportunity to play within the state of Ohio against three in-state rivals. In the opener on August 26th, Ohio State travels north to face defending Mid-American Conference champion Kent State before heading south for Cincinnati (August 28) to play against Xavier University. The Buckeyes open up the September slate against Xavier's cross-town rival, the Cincinnati Bearcats, at the semi-annual Dayton tournament (Sept. 2). The Buckeyes close the Dayton tourney Sunday, Sept. 4 against Furman of the Southern Conference.
Ohio State's first home match pits the Buckeyes against Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference Sunday, Sept. 11. After the home opener, the Scarlet and Gray heads back to the road for a trip to the east coast. On Sept. 15, Ohio State faces Harvard of the Ivy League in a weekday matinee, set to kick off at 1:30 p.m. The Buckeyes close their trek to the Atlantic coast with a match against Northeastern (Sept. 17).
Upon their return from New England, the Big Ten schedule looms as the Buckeyes head north for the Michigan two-step, playing the Wolverines Sept. 23, followed by Michigan State Sept. 25.
After the Michigan swing, Ohio State welcomes a five-game homestand, starting with Illinois Sept. 30 and ending with Penn State Oct. 14. In between the Fighting Illini and Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes play host to Iowa (Oct. 2), Indiana (Oct. 7) and Purdue (Oct. 9).
The league season ends with another daunting road test. First, Ohio State heads to Minneapolis to weather the cold against the Golden Gophers (Oct. 16) before they are off to the windy city to play Northwestern (Oct. 21) and then on to Wisconsin Oct. 23 to conclude the Big Ten regular season.
The Buckeyes have a non-conference tune up against Morehead State to end the October schedule before heading back to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Big Ten tournament Nov. 3-6.
A complete schedule and list of game times is available at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com on the women's soccer homepage.
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