COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women’s soccer team, which opened its regular season Friday with a 3-0 win over Butler, hosts the St. Louis University Billikins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. St. Louis also opened its season Friday evening, losing 1-0 in Philadelphia to the University of Pennsylvania.
SERIES INFO - This is the first meeting between the Buckeyes and the Billikins. The game does represent the 13th game that St. Louis has played against a Big Ten Conference opponent. The Billikins are 5-6-1 all-time vs. the Big Ten. They lost to Illinois, 4-1, in a 2006 NCAA tournament second round game in its last meeting against a Big Ten school.
Ohio State is 11-5-1 vs. teams from the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bucks are 6-1 vs. Dayton; 5-3-1 vs. Xavier; and 0-1 vs. George Washington.
COACH WALKER AND COACH CHAMPION - Lori Walker has been Ohio State’s coach since the 1996 season. She has coached the Buckeyes to two Big Ten Tournament championships 2002 and 2004 and into the NCAA Championship field three times (consecutively between 2002-04). Walker has guided the team to a 110-82-15 ledger. St. Louis coach Tim Champion is in his 12 season and has guided the Billikins to two NCAA tournaments, two Atlantic 10 tournament titles and to a record of 138-68-20.
SIMILAR PROGRAM HISTORIES - Ohio State has had a women’s soccer program since 1993, making this season the 15th in school history. The program’s all-time record is 146-120-18. St. Louis has had a women’s soccer program since 1996. Its all-time record is 138-67-20.
BUCKEYES BEAT BUTLER - Ohio State is coming off a 3-0 victory over Butler Friday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Coach Lori Walker’s teams are now 4-0-1 in the last five home openers and Ohio State is 10-2-3 all-time in season opening games. Walker opened with five freshmen, two sophomores and four seniors in the starting lineup.
ARBULU HAS TWO ASSISTS... - Senior Carla Arbulu had two assists against Butler. She assisted on sophomore Ashley Bowyer’s shot from the left corner to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 edge seven minutes into the game. Arbulu also assisted freshman Courtney Jenkins goal in the 89th minute.
AND FROSH ADD FOUR POINTS - In addition to Jenkins’ goal, a freshmen trio combined to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 edge as Genna Brand scored off the post from the near left side at the 47-minute mark. Assisting on the play was Emily Esbrook and Ali Whitehurst. Esbrook was one of five freshmen to start for Ohio State while Brand and Whitehurst each came in off the bench. “Our young players stepped up, played together very well and scored some nice goals,” Walker said.
“TAZ” HAS HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Butler had some golden opportunities to tie the score in the first half, but each time sophomore goalie Lauren Robertson came up big. She beat Butler’s Lindsey Fox to the ball on a near breakaway, and two more times Robertson’s positioning forced wide shots by the Butler forward. Robertson, who celebrated her birthday by getting the shutout and her 11th career victory, was chosen by the OSU coaching staff as the team’s most outstanding performer of the game. “Taz [Robertson’s nickname] was there when we needed her to be,” Walker said. “We talk to her about consistency and working through the highs and lows, and today she displayed a nice level of intensity.”
SLU SOCCER - The Billikins are the two-time defending Atlantic 10 Conference tournament champion and they have advanced the past two years to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Billikins have been on a roll: they have won 73 games the last five years with just 26 defeats and with seven ties. That’s a winning percentage of 74 percent. Six seniors are gone from last season’s 15-win team. Senior Mary Green was a second-team All-A-10 player last year. Two-year starter Cassie Winchell scored 18 points last season and junior center back Lauren Olson was first-team All-A-10. The team’s big gun is sophomore Julia Bradenberg, the A-10 freshman of the year in 2006 after scoring 10 goals and 28 points.
PENN 1, SLU 0 - Saint Louis dropped its women's soccer regular-season opener 1-0 against Penn at Rhodes Field Friday night. The Quakers, who were also playing in their season opener, got a first-half goal and hung on for the win. The Billiken offense pressed in the second half in search of the equalizer, but they had a pair of shots ricochet off the crossbar. Down 1-0 midway through the second half, the Billiken offense showed signs of prowess and nearly tied the match in the 62nd minute. Senior forward Cassi Winchell collected a feed from freshman forward Alyssa Mautz, beat a defender, and blasted a shot but it banged off the crossbar. There was another close call in the 83rd minute, this time off the foot of sophomore forward Kelly Waeckerle. She pounced on a through ball and sent a rocket from 15 yards out that Penn keeper Cailly Carroll managed to get her gloves on. Shots were nearly even with Penn holding the 8-7 advantage, but the Quakers had eight corner kicks to SLU's one. Carroll managed three saves in the shutout, while SLU sophomore Hannah Koesterer made four stops for the Billikens.
50TH WIN AT JESSE OWENS - This is the ninth season that Ohio State has played its home soccer games in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes are 50-22-7 all-time at Jesse Owens and in the last four seasons they are an impressive 31-7-5 at home (.774).
BALL, DICKENMANN AND MITCHELL ARE CAPTAINS - Three seniors will serve as team captains: Amanda Ball, Lara Dickenmann and Keiana Mitchell.
OHIO STATE’S RECRUITING CLASS IS NO. 1 IN BIG TEN; 13th NATIONALLY - Ohio State’s 13-member freshmen class was judged the No. 1 incoming class in the Big Ten and the No. 13-ranked class nationally, according to SoccerBuzz.com.
WALKER TO ANNOUNCE WORLD CUP ON ESPN2 - Lori Walker has been named to ESPN and ESPN2’s broadcast announcing teams for the networks’ live coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007 matches in China Sept. 10-30. Walker will be a match analyst for nine World Cup first round games. She’ll team with veteran play-by-play announcer Adrian Healy for eight games and with JP Dellacamera on another. The announcing teams will be calling the first-round games off television monitors from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios. Calling games off monitors, something Walker has extensive experience at, including 15-inch monitors, is difficult enough. What makes these World Cup matches even more interesting to call is that Walker will be calling games at 4:55 a.m. and 7:55 a.m., and sometimes back-to-back.
Walker will call nine games featuring these 11 teams: Argentina, Australia, China, Denmark, England, Ghana, Korea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden. Researching each of the teams involved in Walker’s broadcasts was a challenge in itself as well.
DICKENMANN NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM... - Lara Dickenmann has been named one of 11 preseason All-Americans by MajorLeagueSoccer Magazine, a new soccer publication that debuted in July. The magazine’s second issue, which includes men’s and women’s preseason All-America lists and a national Top 10 ranking of teams, hits newsstands in mid-September.
AND TO PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST - Senior midfielder Lara Dickenmann has been named to the preseason watch list for the Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in intercollegiate soccer. The list, announced by the Missouri Athletic Club, was compiled by a panel of coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
“It is a terrific honor for Lara to be named to the Hermann watch list,” Walker said. “She is arguably the most well rounded soccer player in the college game with a knack for scoring goals and the vision to place an assist. This honor extends beyond just Lara, though. This will be a tremendous responsibility for the team to perform well, to outwork other teams, and to position Ohio State to be a Big Ten champion and an NCAA tournament contender.”
COLLISON AND DICKENMANN ARE NATIONAL TEAM MEMBERS - Lisa Collison is a member of the Canadian National Team and Lara Dickenmann is a member of the Swiss National Team. Coach Lori Walker’s goal this season is to have these two international stars they tied for the OSU team lead last year with 23 points apiece become one of the most prolific scoring tandems in the country.
BUCKS PICKED FOURTH IN BIG TEN - The Big Ten Conference women’s soccer coaches have picked Ohio State as the No. 4 team in the conference according to the preseason poll released by the league. Penn State was selected by the 11 conference coaches as the team to beat with Illinois and Purdue ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
THE 2007 SCHEDULE - The Butler game kicked off six consecutive home games in 13 days at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Following the Saint Louis game, Ohio State will host Wright State (Sept. 4), Pepperdine (Sept. 7), San Diego (Sept. 9) and Ohio (Sept. 13) during the home stand.
BUCKS HOST BIG TEN’S PRESEASON TOP 3 - Ohio State will host all three teams that are ranked ahead of it in the Big Ten preseason poll. Illinois comes to town Sept. 28. Purdue and Penn State close out the home season. The Buckeyes and the Boilermakers will meet Oct. 28, while the regular-season ending Penn State contest is set for Nov. 2.
TOUGH STRETCH - Within eight days in September the Buckeyes will play Louisville, defending national champion and Lori Walker alma mater North Carolina and Duke on the road. Louisville and Duke were NCAA Championship participants last year.
THE COACHING STAFF - Lori Walker is assisted by associate head coach Greg Miller and assistant Stephanie Gabbert. Miller, a former Xavier soccer player, is in his seventh season at Ohio State. Gabbert, a former head coach at Iowa State, Iowa and Northeast Missouri State, is in her first season on the staff. In his fourth year as team manager is Stuart “Duece” Bownas.
MILLER TO COACH TWO GAMES - Seventh-year assistant coach Greg Miller will coach the team Sept. 13 against Ohio and Sept. 16 at Louisville while Lori Walker is calling the World Cup games. Walker will return to the sidelines in time for Ohio State’s Sept. 21 game against No. 1-ranked North Carolina, Walker’s alma mater.