Sept. 5, 2001
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COLUMBUS, Ohio--The Ohio State women's soccer team (2-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 in the Big Ten) heads to Storrs, Conn., for a pair of matches with Top 25-caliber opponents this weekend. The Buckeyes battle host Connecticut, the No. 9 team in the nation, at 7 p.m. Friday before playing Boston College at noon Sunday. Both matches are apart of the UConn Classic. "It will be a tough two games for us this weekend, especially on the road at UConn," Lori Walker, OSU head coach, said. "Hopefully we can net a few goals and come out on top of two very competitive teams."
Grubb Garners Honors
Buckeye freshman Lisa Grubb concluded her first weekend of collegiate competition by being named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week. She shares the honor with Colleen Joyce, a senior midfielder at Illinois.
Grubb led the offensive strike for OSU in its first two matches by netting three goals on eight shots. Her first goal was the gamewinner against Wright State Aug. 31.
Grubb is second in the Big Ten in points with six and also is second with three goals. Michigan's Amy Sullivant leads both categories with eight points and four goals. She also was named to Soccer Buzz's Elite Players of the Week team.
The Buckeyes are near the top of most statistical categories in the Big Ten Conference following their opening weekend of play. OSU is first in goals scored (10), points (28), assists (8) and stands second in shots (40). Individually, Brynn Catino and Lindsay Eckles stand tied for third in points scored (4) and goals scored (2) among conference players.
Liz Mumley, with three assists in her first two collegiate matches, leads the conference in assists.
Walker at the Helm
In four seasons as head coach, Lori Walker has amassed a 40-36-4 record (.525) with the Scarlet and Gray, including two 12-plus win campaigns. She is 12-23-2 (.351) in Big Ten play. Walker stands 53-59-5 overall in six seasons as a collegiate coach following a two year stint at Kansas.
In the Rankings
With their 2-0-0 start and 10 goals scored, the Buckeyes found their way into the collegiate rankings for the week of Sept. 3. In the Soccer Buzz Great Lakes Region rankings, OSU is No. 9 and the fourth-highest ranked Big Ten squad behind No. 2 Illinois (national No. 20), No. 4 Purdue and No. 7 Wisconsin.
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Sept. 3 rankings also were released with OSU claiming the No. 8 spot in the Great Lakes region. The Buckeyes follow Big Ten foes Illinois (No. 2), Purdue (No. 6) and Wisconsin (No. 7).
First Road Trip
OSU is 4-2-2 all-time in its first contest away from Columbus and is 2-0 in road openers against BIG EAST opponents with a 4-1 win over St. John's (1996) and a 2-1 defeat of Syracuse (1999). The Buckeyes also hold a slight edge in the scoring column with a 17-16 total.
The Huskies, 17-7-2 (5-0-0 BIG EAST) a year ago, enter the match with a 1-1-0 record following a spilt with Hartford (W 2-1 in overtime) and No. 7 Penn State (L 0-2) at the Keybank Classic at Notre Dame. Head coach Len Tsantiris, in his 21st year at the helm of the UConn program, leads a talented squad ranked in the Top 15 in several national rankings.
UConn is led by scoring leaders Jessica Gjertsen and Kristen Graczyk, a sophomore and freshman, respectively. Both players scored goals in the opening match.
Buckeyes vs. Huskies
The Buckeyes and Huskies are meeting for the first time.
Walker on UConn
"UConn is a team that I have a long history with and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lenny Tsantiris and his team. I think it is going to be a great test for us because they are always a contender at the end of the year. It will be difficult to play at their stadium because of the tremendous fan support and I think it is a great environment for our players to get into."
Scouting Boston College
Alison Foley is in her fourth year as the Eagles' head coach. Her team stands 0-1-0 after falling to UMass, 4-3, in double overtime. BC, who finished 14-7 (4-1 BIG EAST) last year, trailed the Minutewomen, 3-0, early in the second half before rallying to a 3-3 score. Senior Meghan Moore led the offense with a goal and an assist in the loss.
Buckeyes vs. Eagles
This will be the first meeting between the Buckeyes and Eagles.
Walker on Boston College
"Boston College is a young program and one of the better up and coming teams in the nation. There are a lot of similarities between our two teams so it should be a great match."
Buckeyes vs. BIG EAST
OSU holds a record of 6-2-0 against opponents from the BIG EAST Conference with records of 1-0-0 over St. John's, 2-0-0 against Syracuse, 3-1-0 against West Virginia and 0-1-0 against Notre Dame since it joined the conference in 1995. OSU is 0-4-0 overall against UND with three of the played matches coming before the Irish joined the BIG EAST.
The Buckeyes capped their opening weekend with two wins- 5-2 over Wright State and 5-0 over Kent State- and an impressive number of goals scored. Since the OSU program began in the 1993 season, no squad has posted more goals in the opening two matches of the year or reached the 10-goal plateau so quickly. Both the 1999 and 1998 teams needed four matches to secure double-digit goals and the 1996 and 1994 teams each recorded seven goals apiece in their opening weekend. The 1995 team holds the record for most goals in two-consecutive matches with 17. It posted a 14-0 win over Robert Morris and a 3-1 decision over Butler.
The newest additions to the OSU squad have proved to be an intricate part of the early success the Buckeyes have enjoyed.
"I am very, very pleased with their contributions," Walker said. "They are learning a lot about the game at this level. Their creativity and courage at this point is very commendable."
Grubb leads the team in scoring with six points on a team-high three goals while fellow classmate Mumley ranks fourth in scoring on the strength of three assists, another team high.
In all, eight freshmen played in the opening weekend of matches with half of them recording at least one point. Joining Grubb and Mumley in scoring are Emily Gilbert and Heather Miller. Both have one point on one assist.
The OSU defense also is off to a strong start. While the offense has totaled 10 goals, eight assists and 40 shots in the first two matches, the OSU defense allowed only two goals, no assists and 11 shots.
The Buckeyes rank tied for fifth among conference teams in goals allowed with two. Indiana and Illinois lead the way with no goals allowed in two and one matches, respectively.
The Remaining Matches
After an opening weekend with two Ohio opponents, OSU jumps into one of the tougher schedules the program has seen in recent years including defending national champion North Carolina.
"UConn, Kentucky and UNC are all Top 10 programs I decided to add to our schedule," Walker said. "Connecticut is going to be a fantastic game and right away will give us a read on the rest of the season. Boston College will not be an easy match either. Kentucky is a big game. Quite a few players from Ohio have gone across the border to play in Kentucky so it's a natural rivalry. Obviously, the North Carolina game will be a treat."
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes secured their second win of the season with another dominating win. OSU blanked visiting Kent State, 5-0, to run its record to 2-0-0 on the year.
Catino led the Buckeye offensive with her first two goals of the year and Grubb, Emily Thorpe and Kiley Enmark netted the remaining goals.
Mumley recorded her third assist, a team high, as Heather Miller, Jen Miller and Gilbert recorded the other assists.
Freshman Jen Heaney got her first career start as goalkeeper for OSU and recorded a shutout with one save in 90 minutes of play.
With her two goals in the opening weekend, Eckles now has 21 for her career, one behind Becky Borchers (1995-98) for fourth all-time. Her 48 points also rank her fifth all-time.
Thorpe also moved up in the records for career assists. She is tied for No. 2 all-time with Katy Traeger (1996-99) with 13. Lisa Suttmiller (1994-97) leads the career assists ledger with 23.
Next Time Out
OSU returns home for the first match of a two-match homestand. The Buckeyes play host to Bowling Green in a 7 p.m. match Friday.
Sept. 21, OSU opens Big Ten play with a 5:15 p.m. contest with Minnesota at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.