COLUMBUS, Ohio Sophomores Ali Schwach and Emily Esbrook scored goals to give the Ohio State Scarlet team a 2-0 win over the Gray team in the annual Scarlet and Gray game Tuesday played before family and friends at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The goals came about three minutes apart in the third of three 25-minute periods.
Senior forward Lisa Collison kept a scrum going in front of the gray goal and the ball squirted to Schwach who cleaned up from about 14 yards out for the first unofficial goal of the fall camp. A short while later Esbrook, a midfielder, scored on a left-footed blast from about 25 yards that sailed into the far, lower left corner of the net.
The game capped a busy two days of training, testing and conditioning for the Buckeyes and was followed by a BBQ dinner at the stadium attended by the team and family members.
“Today was a great first day on the soccer field,” Greg Miller, associate head coach said. “We saw a lot of talent out here, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. Still, we’re in a good place: we were fast and there was sophistication. Now we have to figure out who fits best and where.”
Some random thoughts on the Scarlet vs. Gray match-up...from the sidelines:
- 28 players were on the field with red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Lauren Pasquesi the only player not in camp. She’s at home in Highland Park, Ill., recovering from an injury.
- The 2008 Buckeyes have some length to them: 15 of the 28 players are 5-7 or taller with 5-10 freshman Paige Maxwell the tallest. True freshmen account for eight of the 15.
- Junior midfielder Ashley Bowyer, who has spent parts of the last two springs at U.S. U-20 team training camps, was smooth in all her movements and was in complete control of the center of the field. She was vocal as well.
- Sophomore defender Lauren Steuer, last year’s team defensive MVP, looked rock solid along the Gray backline. Early on she won a 1v1 matchup with high school All-American Maxwell in front of the goal by keeping Maxwell from getting off any kind of decent shot.
- Senior forward Lisa Collison, who has scored more goals than everyone else on the team combined (28 to 21), set Maxwell up late in the game for a scoring opportunity. Moments later the two hooked up again only to have a hustling Alex Burzynski break up the play.
- It was nice to see red-shirt sophomores Cassie Dickerson (a defender) and Ali Schwach (a forward) contributing on the field after missing 2007 with knee injuries, respectively. Both played some this spring season and both looked absolutely comfortable being back on the field.
- It seemed as if true freshman defender Elizabeth Sullivan had the ball at her feet a lot. She seemed to be fast, too.
- Sweet through-balls were made by Bowyer (to freshman midfielder Brook Taylor with freshman goalkeeper Kendall Maxwell making the save) and by freshman midfielder Caitlyn Martin to Taylor (who sent a crossing ball that sophomore forward Genna Brand headed high).
- True freshman defender Brittney Contacos sent a long through-ball up the left side of the field that sprung Brand for a scoring opportunity.
- Standout junior goalkeeper Lauren Robertson challenged Brand from point-blank range on another Brand opportunity. Robertson bravely deflected the shot over her head.
- Brand made two nice crosses to senior forward Caitlin Colfer and freshman defender Danielle Scoliere also had two effective crosses.
- After getting set up twice by Collison, Maxwell returned the favor with a cross that Collison headed toward the goal.
- True freshman defender Lauren Cusick disrupted at least two runs with slide tackles. Cusick also displayed range, coming up from her defender position to support Burzynski along the right side of the field. Cusick eventually sent a cross into the fray.
The team continues two-a-day training for the next week. The Buckeyes will host the University of Kentucky in a 7:30 p.m. scrimmage at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Wed., Aug. 20.