Ohio State Takes On No. 18 Duke, No. 4 North Carolina in Chapel Hill to Open 2014 Campaign
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women's soccer team opens the 2014 season with a matchup against No. 18 Duke at 5 p.m. Friday and a contest against No. 4 North Carolina at 2 p.m. Sunday. Both matches will be played at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Fans can follow live stats at OhioStateBuckeyes.com or follow on Twitter @OhioState_WSOC. There will be no streaming video for Friday's contest against Duke but Sunday's match against North Carolina will be streamed on ESPN3.com.
A LOOK AT 2014
The Buckeyes, under 18th-year head coach Lori Walker, return eight starters and 16 letterwinners off a 2013 team that finished 10-7-3 and advanced to the program's fifth-consecutive NCAA tournament. Captain Ellyn Gruber and leading goal-scorer Nichelle Prince are back and will help welcome a group of 10 newcomers. The Ohio State roster will be young but talented with four seniors, four juniors, nine sophomores and 11 freshmen
SOME MORE NOTES
- Junior Michela Paradiso sits tied for 13th in Ohio State history with 14 assists.
- Prince already sits 15th on the Ohio State career goals list after tallying 13 as a freshman last season.
- Prince has notched two of the 12 hat tricks in Ohio State history, accomplishing the feat against Northeastern and Northwestern last year.
- The Buckeyes topped No. 21 Wake Forest, 1-0, behind Alexis Degler's 67th-minute goal last Saturday night in Winston-Salem, N.C. Sixteen Buckeyes saw playing time in the contest, including six playing for the first time in an Ohio State uniform.
Duke, led by 14th-year head coach Robbie Church, enters the season ranked 18th in the NSCAA preseason poll. The Blue Devils return seven starters and 21 letterwinners from their 2013 team that went 9-9-3 and advanced to the program's third-consecutive Elite Eight. Sophomore defender Christina Gibbons returns for Duke after helping lead the defense to seven shutouts while playing a team-high 2,228 minutes a year ago.
The Buckeyes are winless in five all-time meetings against the Blue Devils.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA
Led by 36th-year head coach Anson Dorrance, North Carolina enters the 2014 season ranked fourth in the NSCAA preseason poll. The Tar Heels went 20-5 a year ago and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. Summer Green, a junior forward, is back to lead the North Carolina attack after tallying nine goals and six assists last season.
Ohio State head coach Lori Walker was a three-year letterwinner in goal for the Tar Heels from 1989-91, ending her career with a 0.41 goals-against average.
The Buckeyes are 0-4 all-time against the Tar Heels.
Gruber, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, enters the 2014 season after playing in 63 career matches, starting 45. Also a team captain in 2013, Gruber tallied three goals and tied for the team lead with seven assists last season as a junior. Gruber, who has notched four goals and 12 assists in her career, is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten pick.
NINE AT HOME...AND ADMISSION IS FREE
The Buckeyes' schedule includes nine matches at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season with Big Ten action kicking off Sept. 26 against Illinois. Admission is free to all Ohio State women's soccer home games.
THE COACHING STAFF
Ohio State is under the direction of 18th-year head coach Lori Walker. She has guided the team to nine NCAA Tournament berths (2002-03-04-07-09-10-11-12-13), a Big Ten regular season championship (2010) and three Big Ten Tournament championships (2002, 2004, 2012). Her record at Ohio State is 196-131-31 and her career record, including two seasons at Kansas, is 209-154-32.
JESSE OWENS MEMORIAL STADIUM
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, the home to the Buckeyes, has provided quite the home-field advantage for the women's soccer team. Some stats about the facility:
- The home team is 105-39-15 all-time.
- Ohio State is 86-22-13 since 2003 and 40-10-5 since 2009.
Ohio State opens its home schedule against preseason No. 5 Virginia Tech at 6 p.m. Aug. 31.