Sept. 25, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio--The Ohio State women's soccer team (3-4-0 overall, 0-1-0 in the Big Ten) will travel the Hoosier State for two Big Ten Conference matches this weekend. The Buckeyes open the road trip at 6 p.m. Friday at Indiana before battling Purdue at 2 p.m. Sunday.
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.
Conference Road Opener Trouble
In the past, the Buckeye program has not enjoyed success in its first Big Ten Conference road matches. OSU is 0-7-1 all-time in its first conference match away from Columbus and has been outscored 18-4 over the span. The Buckeyes' first road opponent, Indiana, is 2-0-1 against OSU in the opener and holds a 5-2 scoring edge as well. The OSU-IU scores were 3-1 in 1996, 2-1 in overtime in 1998 and a 0-0 tie in 1999.
The Hoosiers, under the guidance of ninth-year head coach Joe Kelley, are 4-1-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Big Ten following a 1-1 tie with Northwestern and a 1-0 defeat of No. 23 Wisconsin.
Led by goalkeeper Shaunna Daugherty and goal-scorer Kim Grodek, IU has surged to near perfection this year. Grodek leads the team in scoring with three goals for six points while Daugherty has posted four wins via shutout while allowing only three goals.
Buckeyes vs. Hoosiers
Ohio State and Indiana have met on the pitch 10 times with the Hoosiers holding the 6-3-1 lead in the series. IU won the last meeting between the two teams, 3-2, in Columbus Sept. 24, 2000.
Walker on Indiana
"The Indiana-Ohio State battle is always a fun one. It will be a very physical battle. Indiana has a tendency to play very direct. Our back line has been winning balls in the air and that will be important in winning this match. I think it will be a low scoring match and one goal could really decide the outcome of the match. Both defenses are extremely strong and it will come down to which team can get a quick strike and score on the attack. We have a lot of respect for their team and I think their midfield is actually the strongest aspect of their game. It will be a very good match up between our two teams.
Led by fourth-year head coach Robert Klatte, the Boilermakers are off to a 4-3-0 start and are 1-1-0 in the Big Ten following a 3-0 defeat of No. 23 Wisconsin and a 2-1 loss to Northwestern.
As a team, PU ranks third in the conference in goals (13) and leads the league in assists (16). Lauren Sesselmann and Courtney Coppedge are the team leaders in points with 12 (4G-4A) and nine (4G-1A), respectively.
Defensively, Elizabeth Boldt and Jocelyn Cavalier have split time in net to allow eight goals and record 39 saves.
Buckeyes vs. Boilermakers
Ohio State and Purdue will meet for the fourth time in the history of the series. The Buckeyes hold a 2-1-0 record over the Boilermakers with the lone OSU loss coming a year ago, 1-0, in Columbus, Sept. 24, 2000.
Walker on Purdue
"Two Big Ten games in a weekend is always a shock to the freshman system in particular and Purdue has an excellent squad that is very athletic. Purdue is a game last year where we really dominated the play and they stuck one in the net at the very end of the match. That close loss is in the back of our minds. This is the strongest team we have had here in team history and once we finally get that goal that breaks the ice, you will start to see an easier flow within the play of the offense and our attack."
When the Buckeyes head into West Lafayette, Ind., Sunday, junior defender Becky Broering will have a homecoming of sorts. Broering opened her collegiate career as a Boilermaker in 1998 and played two seasons for PU. After a redshirt season a year ago, Broering now has a chance to compete against her former team.
"There will be a lot of energy there for Becky because she is a transfer from Purdue and this will be her first chance to play against her former team," Walker said. "I know she is really looking forward to this match."
After starting the year on an offensive surge scoring 12 goals in three matches (all wins) OSU has been unable to find the back of the net. The Buckeyes have lost four-consecutive matches and have been outscored by their opponents, 8-1.
"We are not playing badly and are actually outplaying our opponents," Lori Walker, OSU head coach, said. "We are just struggling to score so most of our training this week will be on our half-court offense, if you will. We also need to improve on our runs on the ball in the final third of the field and to improve on our mentality so when we have the ball in that final third, we are able to finish everything and finish everything strong."
In her first year with the program, freshman goalkeeper Jen Heaney is quickly becoming a large factor for OSU. Among conference keepers, Heaney is seventh in saves with 21 and seventh in saves per game with 3.75. She also stands sixth in shutouts with one and ninth in shutouts per game with 0.17.
"I am very pleased with where she is right now," Walker said. "Our basic instruction to her has been to make the simple saves, command the box, have a verbal presence in the backfield and to have perfect distribution. For the most part, she has done very well. She has great distribution and her simple saves game is very solid. We are working on her commanding the box more and she will get better as she matures. I am extremely pleased with where she is now compared to where she started the year."
Despite its recent slump on the offensive end of the pitch, OSU still remains close to the top of several offensive categories in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes rank third in shots (118), fourth in points (36), tied for third in goals (13) and fourth in assists (10).
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
OSU still has a few tough matches remaining on its non-conference slate, including No. 1 North Carolina.
"UConn, Kentucky and UNC are all Top 10 programs I decided to add to our schedule," Walker said. "Obviously, the North Carolina game will be a treat."
In conference play, the Buckeyes also face No. 7 Penn State and three teams just outside of the Top 25, Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Last Time Out
OSU dropped a pair of matches over the weekend including a 1-0 loss at home to Minnesota Sept. 21 and a 2-0 loss at No. 15 Kentucky, Sept. 23.
The Buckeyes outshot the Golden Gophers, 21-1, but could not convert as UM capitalized on its lone opportunity to steal the victory in both teams' conference opener.
OSU then traveled south to Lexington, Ky., to battle the Wildcats. The Buckeyes controlled the play for most of the game but surrendered goals in each half on set plays.
"They had two well executed set plays that we could do nothing about," Walker said., "For the most part, we controlled most of the match but could not finish our opportunities."
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 Buckeyes Have A New Home
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium opened its doors in Fall 1999. Since then it has been home to the Ohio State men's and women's soccer teams in the fall and the men's and women's lacrosse and track teams in the spring. The stadium is one of the finest collegiate soccer facilities in the nation. The playing surface (Kentucky bluegrass) is a regulation 65 x 110. Since last season, construction was completed on an elevated grandstand-with seating available for an additional 8,000 spectators-concourse level and a working press box.
Surrounded by a wrought iron fence with brick piers, the stadium also houses locker rooms and offices for the men's and women's soccer, men's tennis, men's and women's lacrosse, field hockey and softball programs.
Next Time Out
The Buckeyes return home for a pair of Big Ten contests as OSU plays host to Michigan and Michigan State. The Wolverines visit Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m Oct. 5 and the Spartans head to town for a 2 p.m. match Oct. 7.