Ohio State Looks to Continue Strong Start Against Illinois Friday in Big Ten Opener
Sept. 19, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State women’s soccer team opens Big Ten play against Illinois at 5 p.m. Friday at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Fans can follow live stats and streaming video on the schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com or follow on Twitter @OhioState_WSOC.
OHIO STATE OF LATE
Ohio State picked up a pair of non-conference wins last weekend in Bloomington, Ind. Goals from Danica Wu and Ellyn Gruber propelled the Buckeyes to a 2-0 win over Central Michigan on Friday before Ohio State was able to make Nichelle Prince’s tally in the 23rd minute stand as the game-winner in a 1-0 win over St. John’s on Sunday.
Illinois enters the weekend with a 5-2-1 record after posting victories over Indiana State and FIU last weekend. Jannelle Flaws leads the Fighting Illini with eight goals while Vanessa DiBernardo has tallied four goals and six assists on the season. Goalkeeper Claire Wheatley has made 35 saves with a 2.15 goals-against average in eight games played.
Ohio State holds a narrow 9-8-1 lead in the all-time series with Illinois after falling, 1-0, in Champaign during the regular season last year and defeating the Fighting Illini, 2-1, in the Big Ten Championship game.
BUCKEYES IN THE BIG TEN
Ohio State ranks near the top of the Big Ten in several categories including goals-against average (3rd, 0.56), shutouts (3rd, 4), corner kicks (3rd, 50) and goals allowed (4th, 5).
Nichelle Prince sits tied for fifth in the conference with five goals, tied for seventh with 14 points and, along with Michela Paradiso, tied for eighth with four assists. Jillian McVicker ranks third with a 0.48 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage while Rachel Middleman sits seventh with a 0.73 goals-against average and eighth with a .769 save percentage.
MULTIPLE BUCKEYES MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS
Twelve Buckeyes have tallied a point through the first eight matches, including seven different goal scorers. Six players have notched their first points in a Buckeye uniform through the first four weeks of the 2013 season.
FULLER CONTINUES STREAK
Senior defender and co-captain Megan Fuller has been a stalwart on the back line for the Buckeyes over her career. The Bondurant, Iowa, native has not missed a minute of game time since the final game of the 2011 campaign in the Sweet 16 at Duke.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State sits just outside the Top 25 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women’s poll this week, garnering the most votes of any team outside the Top 25. In addition, the Buckeyes are ranked seventh in the Great Lakes region.
WHAT DO THE COACHES THINK?
Ohio State was picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll, the conference office announced Aug. 14. Senior Megan Fuller and freshmen Lindsay Agnew and Nichelle Prince were named the Buckeyes’ players to watch.
THE COACHING STAFF
Ohio State is under the direction of 17th-year head coach Lori Walker. She has guided the team to eight NCAA Tournament berths (2002-03-04-07-09-10-11-12) as well as three Big Ten Tournament championships (2002, 2004, 2012). Her record at Ohio State is 192-125-29 and her career record, including two seasons at Kansas, is 205-148-30.
NINE AT HOME AND FREE ADMISSION
The Buckeyes’ schedule includes nine matches at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season with Big Ten action kicking off Sept. 20 against Illinois. Admission is free to all Ohio State women’s soccer home games.
BUCKEYES ON BTN
Ohio State will be on BTN at least three times in 2013. The Buckeyes will take on Indiana at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 in Columbus and also will have a 12:30 p.m. contest Oct. 6 at Wisconsin and a 3 p.m. matchup Oct. 17 at Penn State televised on BTN. In addition, the semifinals and championship of the Big Ten Tournament also will be televised on the network.
JESSE OWENS MEMORIAL STADIUM
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, the home to the Buckeyes, has provided quite the home-field advantage for the women’s soccer team. Some stats about the facility:
- The home team is 102-38-14 all-time.
- Ohio State is 83-21-12 since 2003 and 58-16-8 since 2006.
- The Buckeyes went 9-2-0 at home in 2009, 9-2-2 in 2010, 7-4 in 2011 and 9-1-1 in 2012.
Ohio State hosts Indiana at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 on BTN before welcoming Purdue at 1 p.m. Sept. 29.
Humphrey Highlights | Sammy Edwards