Women's Soccer Embarks on First Road Trip of the Season

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

Aug. 30, 1999

%^$Starting Off
%^$Ohio State began its regular season with a home opening win against Wright State. The Buckeyes out-shot and out-scored the Raiders 3-0 for their first win of the season. %^$

Scouting Syracuse
%^$The Orangewomen are coming off a 14-7-1 year and have recently been ranked No. 25 in Soccer Buzz Magazine's preseason poll. The Orangewomen are led by senior midfielder Jenna Szyluk who recorded 51 shots, 10 goals and 7 assists for a total of 27 points. Junior Erin O'Grady and sophomore Molly Schmelzle will also aid in the Orangewomen offense. O'Grady led the team in shots (54), goals (15) and points (36).%^$Schmelzle was third in team scoring with 24 points (9G, 6A).%^$

Syracuse is led by April Kater, who led SU from a 10-6-1 overall record during its inaugural season to a 14-7-1 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 1998.%^$

Scouting Colgate
%^$The Colgate women's soccer program enters the 1999 season from an appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament. Coming off a 13-7-0 overall record, the Red Raiders return several key veterans including captains Sarah Lohr and Kelly Tyrrell. %^$

Lohr is a four-year starter in the sweeper position while Tyrrell posted a 1.11 goals against average in her first three seasons. The Red Raiders lost two of their key defenders but feel that Lohr and Sarah Brown will back up the defense. %^$

Colgate will also look to senior Andrea Licari and sophomore Angela Puliafico to provide a scoring role for the team. Puliafico led the offense with 29 points with 11 goals, ranking second for pints in Colgate's rookie campaign.%^$Licari, the 1998 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year scored 10 goals and four assists for a total of 24 points.%^$

Colgate opens its season with a match against the Buckeyes at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3. %^$

Series History
%^$Ohio State is meeting Syracuse for the first time, but tied with Colgate 1-1 in overtime at the last meeting in 1997.%^$

Senior Leadership
%^$Ohio State is led by four seniors who will fill the gap left by first-team all-Big Ten pick Becky Borchers, who graduated last year. Midfielders Katie Martorella and Katy Traeger, defender Maria Jimenez and forward Melissa Fox bring valuable leadership and experience to this Buckeye squad. The foursome combines to give OSU strength in every area of the field.%^$

Two players that should help pick up the offensive hole left by Borchers departure are Martorella and Traeger. Martorella, one of the most competitive players on the team, posted two goals and three assists for seven points a year ago while Traeger finished third on the team in scoring with 10 points. Traeger will serve as the go-to player when the team needs a surge of momentum, a distinction she earned when she led Ohio State to victories over Minnesota and Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament.%^$

Also key to OSU this year is Melissa Fox and Maria Jimenez. Fox, described by Walker as "a player that can frustrate opponents with her persistent, scrappy play," gives the front line fire while Jimenez makes the back line one of the better defenses in the conference.%^$

A Keeper in Goal
%^$One of the major contributors in the 1998 season was goalkeeper Amber Barnes, who put together one of the most phenomenal seasons in Buckeye history last year. She broke numerous school records, including goals against average (1.07) and shutouts (9.0). In one remarkable five game stretch from Oct. 11 through Oct. 25, Barnes did not allow a goal, a streak that lasted nearly 495 minutes. And she proved to be tough down the stretch - her goals against average in the final 10 games of the season dropped to a paltry 0.70.%^$

Barnes, a junior, has proven herself to be one of the best goalkeepers in OSU history. Her impressive numbers rank her first in career goals against average (1.37) and second in career saves (206) and career shutouts (12.5).%^$

What's Next?
%^$Ohio State embarks on its first road trip of the season Tue., Aug. 31, the destination being the state of New York. The first game on the trip is Wed., Sept. 1, at Syracuse. The Orangewomen are coming off a 14-7-1 year and have recently been ranked No. 25 in Soccer Buzz Magazine's preseason poll. The second and final game of the trip is Fri., Sept. 3, at Colgate. The Buckeyes return home after that game and will practice over the weekend in preparation for their next home game Tue., Sept. 7, against Ohio University.%^$

The Facility
%^$Today's game is the first women's soccer game ever in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The coaching staff and players have praised the field specialists for the work they have done on the playing surface, made up of Kentucky bluegrass. Of the facility, Ohio State head coach Lori Walker says, "The field itself is tremendous. It's a great playing surface. It gives us a tremendous sense of pride. We see it and say, this is our home. This is something we are very proud of and when we step out on the field, we want to present our best game and play our best soccer."%^$

When completed, the facility will be one of the nicest college soccer complexes in the nation, with an elevated concourse and seating available for 8,000 spectators. The stadium will be surrounded by a wrought iron fence with brick piers and green and white ash trees. It also will be home to the Jesse Owens memorial wall and plaque.%^$

New Heights
%^$Last year was a record-breaking season for Ohio State in many areas. Following is a list of the milestone accomplishments of the 1998 Buckeyes:%^$- A first-ever appearance in the Big Ten Tournament championship game.%^$- A program first-ever victory over Wisconsin.%^$- Thirteen wins - the second-most in school history.%^$- A program-record five consecutive shutouts from Oct. 11 through Oct. 25.%^$- All-Big Ten honors for Becky Borchers, becoming only the fourth Buckeye in program history to reach that status.%^$- Records set for most games played (22) and fewest goals allowed (24).%^$

%^$Follow each of Ohio State's 35 intercollegiate athletics teams on the official home of Ohio State Department of Athletics, www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Releases are posted weekly and game stories are updated immediately after contests. Team rosters, schedules and biographical information can also be found.%^$