Sept. 18, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio--The Ohio State women's soccer team (3-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 in the Big Ten) returns to action with a rare midweek match at 7 p.m. Tuesday when it plays host to intrastate foe Bowling Green at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes and Falcons originally were scheduled to play Friday but the match was postponed. Admission is free for all fans for the Bowling Green match only.
The Buckeyes also will open their Big Ten Conference slate at 5:15 p.m. Friday against Minnesota. OSU closes the weekend with a trip south to No. 15 Kentucky at 2 p.m. Sunday.
As part of Welcome Week festivities, all OSU students, with BUCK-ID, will be admitted free to the OSU-UM match Friday.
Senior defender Jen Miller, for her stellar play in the UConn/Diadora Classic (Sept. 7-9), was selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Sept. 10.
"I am very pleased Jen Miller has been named player of the week," Lori Walker, OSU head coach, said. "She is well-deserving of this recognition. Jen not only is one of our top defenders but also is one of the best players on our roster."
Miller's selection marks the second-consecutive week an OSU player has been so honored by the Big Ten. Lisa Grubb garnered player of the week accolades two weeks ago.
This is the first time the Big Ten has honored separate offensive and defensive players of the week.
Forward Lindsay Eckles, goalkeeper Jen Heaney and Jen Miller were selected to the all-tournament team at the UConn/Diadora Classic.
Eckles scored the lone goal in a 3-1 loss to Boston College and Heaney totaled 11 saves in the two matches, including four in a 2-1 upset of No. 9 Connecticut. Walker at the Helm
In four seasons as head coach, 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
The Buckeyes moved up from No. 9 to No. 6 in the latest Soccer Buzz Great Lakes regional rankings, released Sept. 10, and No. 4 in the NSCAA Great Lakes region. OSU also has received votes in the latest NSCAA national rankings.
Scouting Bowling Green
BGSU enters Columbus undefeated in four matches with a 2-0-2 overall record and an 0-0-1 mark in the Mid-American Conference under the guidance of second-year coach Andy Richards.
The Falcons are led defensively by goalkeeper Erika Flanders and offensively by Kristy Coppes. Flanders has stopped 43 shots and allowed only three goals. Coppes leads the team with three of the seven total scores by BGSU.
Buckeyes vs. Falcons
The Buckeyes and Falcons have met on the pitch two times with OSU holding the 2-0-0 advantage in the series.
OSU is 5-3-0 all-time against teams representing the Mid-American Conference including a 1-0-0 record this year following a 5-0 defeat of Kent State, Sept. 2.
Buckeyes vs. the State of Ohio
OSU has accumulated a 19-11-1 record all-time when battling teams from the state of Ohio and is 2-0 this year following wins over Wright State and KSU to open the season.
Barbara Wickstrand is entering her second year at the helm of the Golden Gopher program. Minnesota stands 1-3-0 (0-0-0 Big Ten) after playing four-consecutive matches ending in shutouts. UM has been outscored, 7-1, with sophomore Rachel Roth scoring the lone goal.
Buckeyes vs. Golden Gophers/Big Ten
OSU stands 2-7-1 against UM with all matches being decided by two goals or less. The Golden Gophers have outscored the Buckeyes in the series, 16-6, and have won the last two matches in 2-0 contests.
OSU is 25-53-3 all-time against the Big Ten.
Led by 10th-year head coach Warren Lipka, the Wildcats are off to their best start in program history at 5-0-0 (1-0-0) and are No. 15 in both national polls.
Statistically, freshman Kathy Fulk leads the team with 10 points (four goals, two assists) and junior Keri Boyce is second with six points on one goal and four assists.
Buckeyes vs. Wildcats and SEC
UK holds a 2-0-0 advantage over OSU in the series which has not been contested since 1995. The Buckeyes lost at UK, 2-1, in overtime in 1995 and at home, 3-2, in 1994.
OSU is 1-2-0 all-time against the SEC. The Buckeyes defeated Arkansas, 5-1, in 1999 and have fallen to Kentucky twice.
Taking the Lead
Individually, Lisa Grubb stands fifth in the Big Ten with seven points (3-1-7) and Lindsay Eckles (3-0-6) and Emily Thorpe (2-1-5) are tied for eighth and 10th in the conference, respectively. Grubb and Eckles also are tied for fifth in the Big Ten with three goals apiece. Liz Mumley continues to lead the conference with four assists.
In her first year with the program, freshman goalkeeper Jen Heaney is quickly becoming a large factor for OSU. Among conference keepers, Heaney ranks highly in several statistical categories. She is third in saves with 15 and seventh in saves per game with 3.75. She also stands fourth in shutouts with one and shutouts per game with 0.25.
As a team, the Buckeyes rank in the Top 2 in four offensive categories among Big Ten teams. OSU leads the conference in goals scored with 13 and points with 36. It is second in shots taken with 71 and goals per game with 3.25 per contest. Purdue has one more shot than OSU and Illinois averages 3.67 goals per match.
OSU's offensive showing so far this season is one of the best in the history of the program. The 13 goals scored is the most after four matches. The 1998 team had a better start with 12 goals scored while allowing only one goal scored.
Lend a Helping Hand
The Buckeyes not only have outscored their opponents, they also have recorded more assists. OSU has tallied assists on 10 of its 13 goals this year while opponents have only one assist on six goals.
The OSU defense also is off to a strong start. While the offense has totaled 13 goals, 10 assists and 71 shots in the first four matches, the OSU defense has allowed only six goals, one assist and 49 shots.
The Buckeyes rank tied for sixth among conference teams in goals allowed with six. Indiana leads the way with two goals allowed in four matches.
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." Lisa Grubb leads the team in scoring with seven points on a team-high three goals while fellow classmate Liz Mumley ranks fourth in scoring on the strength of four assists, another team high.
In all, eight freshmen have played 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 Remaining Matches
Having defeated No. 9 Connecticut, OSU still has a few tough matches remaining on its non-conference slate, including No. 1 North Carolina and No. 15 Kentucky.
"UConn, Kentucky and UNC are all Top 10 programs I decided to add to our schedule," Walker said. "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."
Inside conference play, the Buckeyes also face No. 10 Penn State, No. 22 Illinois and two teams just outside of the Top 25, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Last Time Out
The Buckeyes split two matches, upsetting No. 9 Connecticut, 2-1, and falling to Boston College, 3-1.
In the opener, Emily Thorpe and Courtney Nein scored, with Nein's tally securing the win for OSU. The Buckeyes took the early lead but surrendered a goal to UConn in the closing minutes of the first half. Nein scored midway through the second half to give OSU the win.
In the BC match, Lisa Grubb assisted on Lindsay Eckles' third goal of the year but it was not enough as the Eagles took the win with three unanswered goals, two in the second half.
Heaney totaled four saves against UConn and seven against BC to bring her season total to 15.
The Buckeyes have upset a Top 25 team in three of the five seasons Walker has been at the helm. In 1997, OSU knocked off No. 13 Penn State, 2-1, in Columbus. The Buckeyes then downed No. 18 Florida State and No. 12 Missouri, 2-1 and 3-2, respectively, last year.
Lindsay Eckles moved into a tie for fourth on the all-time goals scored ledger with her tally in the BC match. She ties Becky Borchers (1995-98) with 22 goals scored.
Eckles also moved into fifth all-time in career points with 50 on 22 goals and six assists. Emily Thorpe has advanced up the records ledger for career assists. She stands in a tie for No. 2 with Katy Traeger (1996-99) with 13 helpers.
The soccer action will be fierce Friday as the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium pitch will play host to three matches. In the opener, Penn State's men's team plays SW Missouri State in the first match of the Ohio State NIKE Classic at 3 p.m. The OSU women open Big Ten Conference play at 5:15 p.m. against Minnesota before the OSU men battle Creighton at 7:30 p.m.
Next Time Out
At 2 p.m. Sunday, OSU battles the No. 15 Wildcats at Lexington, Ky.