Sept. 17, 1999
Two consecutive NCAA National Tournament appearances, a Big Ten Conference Tournament championship and three straight upper division league finishes form the base. Add a senior class which has been a big part of the three seasons of success, and Michigan is poised to further its national presence. "We have seven seniors, five who have been starters for all three years," said Michigan head coach Debbie Belkin. "I think we have the ability to win a Big Ten season championship, definitely make the national tournament field and go further than last year."
The Wolverines look to tri-captains Stephanie McArdle, Shannon Poole and Emily Schmitt to lead them through the rigorous 1999 schedule. Senior forward Amber Berendowsky holds almost all of the school's scoring records including goals in a season (18/1997) and for a career (36) as well as points in a season (53/1997) and for a career (100). Berendowsky is a three-year starter and two-time All-Big Ten honoree.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines have been facing off in women's soccer since 1994, the Wolverine's inaugural year. As Michigan leads the all-time series 4-3-0, winning the last four contests in the series.
The last meeting in Ann Arbor, Mich., found OSU with a 2-0 loss as former Wolverine Jessica Limauro found the net twice for the win.
Last Week's Action
The Ohio State Buckeyes served Houston a 1-0 loss in the first round of the GTE Soccer Classic. Midfielder Emily Thorpe netted the lone goal four minutes into the match to secure the win. The Buckeyes continued their season trend of outshooting their opponent 18 shots to 6. Houston was inches from tying the game as midfielder Kara Bullnger fired the ball wide as it was deflected off the goal post. In just five games OSU has attempted 96 shots compared to Houston's 41.
OSU finished second place at the GTE Soccer Classic after losing 2-1 to No. 10 Texas A&M. After a scoreless first half, OSU struck first in the second half, with a goal by Lindsay Eckles at the 53:51 mark. Eckles went one-on-one with Texas A&M goalkeeper Melanie Wilson and fired the ball into the upper right corner of the net. Texas A&M answered with two goals from midfielder Alison Peters to win the tournament and remain undefeated with a 6-0-0 overall record.
GTE Soccer Classic Honors
For their excellent performance on the field, three Buckeyes were named to the GTE Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team. Amber Barnes, Jen Miller and Emily Thorpe were selected from the Classic's participating teams, Texas A&M, Houston and Navy.
Eckles Steps Up
Lindsay Eckles has already proven herself to be one of the bigger offensive threats for this year's Ohio State team. Only six games into her freshman season, the Hilliard, Ohio, native has scored five goals and one assist for 11 points, topping the team. She opened eyes in her first game as a Buckeye, scoring a spectacular goal against Wright State. Eckles received a beautiful cross from the right corner, leaped in the air and one-timed it home while her body was parallel to the ground. She followed that effort up with a two-goal performance to lead OSU to victory over Syracuse.
Barnes Still Tough
Amber Barnes has proven to be as stingy this year as she was in her first two seasons wearing the scarlet and gray. She is second in the Big Ten for saves (19) and goals against (5). Barnes also carries a first place ranking for the number of shutouts in the Big Ten (3).
Tickets may be obtained prior to all Ohio State games at the OSU Athletics Ticket Office, located in the southeast rotunda of the Jerome Schottenstein Center, or by calling 292-2624 or 1-800-GOBUCKS. They also may be purchased the day of the game at the ticket booth located in the southeast corner of the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium outside the perimeter fencing.
Ohio State travels to Michigan and Indiana for their next three games, facing Detroit Mercy (Sept. 21), Indiana (Sept. 24) and Purdue (Sept. 26).
Detroit is in the midst of a five game losing streak, suffering losses from Michigan State , St. Bonaventure and Buffalo. This will be the second meeting between the Buckeyes and the Titans.
Indiana begins Big Ten play against Michigan State today at 4 p.m. IU holds a 1-3-1 overall record as the Hoosiers suffered losses to Xavier, Vanderbilt and Missouri. Their 4-1 win over Montana ended their three game losing streak.
Purdue (5-1-0) begins the Big Ten season at Northwestern Friday at 4 p.m. Purdue has been on a roll of late, as the second-year varsity program currently boasts a five-match winning streak. The Boilermakers are tied for first place with Illinois in Big Ten standings.
Let the Record Show
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).
The threesome of junior Amanda Orr, sophomore Elisa Hamilton and Jimenez combine to make the Buckeye defense one of the best in the Big Ten. Orr, a mainstay in the Buckeye lineup for the last two years, is as strong as she is consistent. Hamilton is the most physical of the group, but she is able to combine her tenacious defense with brilliant attacking ability, evidenced by her team-leading five assists in 1998.
This year's freshmen class should prove to be one of the strongest in program history. The fresh faces are led by Lindsay Eckles, who has the adaptability to play as either a forward or midfielder. Described by Walker as a player that "has a knack for putting the ball in the back of the net," Eckles' style should be a good complement to the play of Nein, Vierling and Fox.
Walker also points to Kiley Enmark as someone who could step in and make an impact. A smooth, technical ballhandler, Enmark could push some upperclassmen for time in the midfield position. Other freshmen include midfielder Shelley Besson, defenders Jen Miller, Lizzy Moore and goalkeeper Anna Mitchell. Besson has the versatility to play either left or right while Mitchell, Miller and Moore will provide the defense with depth and physical play.