Sept. 6, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Two senior Ohio State women's soccer players, Lisa Grubb and Megan Stickler will not return for the 2005 season because of injury, Lori Walker, Ohio State women's head soccer coach announced Tuesday.
Grubb, a native of Portage, Mich., was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her lumbar spine, Jeff Bright, the assistant athletics trainer for the women's soccer team, said.
Ohio State will petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility and if granted, Grubb, who was granted a medical hardship in 2003 after suffering a knee injury, would return for the 2006-`07 season.
Grubb, a two-time regional All-American and a 2005 team co-captain with junior Emily Francis, is Ohio State's all-time career leader in goals with 31 and was the 2001 and 2002 season leader in goals (10, 7) and points (25, 17). Grubb also led the Buckeyes in assists in 2001 with five.
"It's not possible to `replace' a player like Lisa Grubb, Walker said. "Our team will move in a new direction this season without her and hope to have her back for 2006. Grubb's work ethic, passion to play and spirit for competition have set her apart for the last five years. She has handled this disappointment like a champion."
Stickler, who hails from Hudson, Ohio, suffered a fibular fracture and had surgery to repair it last week, Bright said.
"Megan has been a leader with our fitness standards since she arrived in Columbus," Walker said. "It is hard to see her career end with an injury."
The 2005 season is the final year of eligibility for Stickler, after exhausting a year following her transfer from East Carolina in 2001. Last year she was named the Most Improved Player by the coaching staff after playing in 25 of 26 matches at the midfield position.
"Injuries are part of the athletic experience," Walker said. "Many young players will be looked to to share these senior's minutes and fill the goal scoring void. Yet senior leadership is very hard to replicate. Baptism by fire will both humble and mature our young squad."
The Buckeyes (2-1-1; 0-0-0 Big Ten) open their home slate vs. Kentucky at 6 p.m. Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.