Ohio State Hosts Illinois Friday in Big Ten Opener

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

COLUMBUS, Ohio A large and lively crowd is a goal Friday night in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium as the Ohio State women’s soccer team opens Big Ten Conference play with a 7:30 p.m. game against Illinois. OSU students will be admitted into the gates for free with a valid BuckID card, the contest is being marketed as an athletic department Scarlet and Gray feature game, both teams are among the top four expected to compete for the 2007 Big Ten championship and...it’s the start of the weekend!

     Furthermore, two of the top players in the Big Ten and nationally will be leading their teams: Hermann Trophy (national player of the year) candidate Lara Dickenmann from Ohio State and 2006 Big Ten Player of the Year Ella Masar of Illinois. Dickenmann leads the Buckeyes in goals (4) and points (9) and Masar is doing the same for the Illini (5 goals and 12 points).

    “Lara and Ella are each terrific soccer players,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “They are certainly key players and their play represents the attacking styles of their teams. Illinois is a lot like Ohio State. Their players won’t sit back. This is going to be an exciting game to watch from a spectator’s standpoint.”

    Ohio State is 6-0 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season and 6-3 overall. Illinois is 5-2 on the year and 2-1-1 on the road. Ohio State is coming off two difficult games this weekend in the Duke adidas Classic losses to North Carolina and Duke while Illinois enters the contest riding a four-game winning streak.

     The gates to enter Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium open at 6 p.m. Tickets prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children and groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets in advance for $2 apiece. 

GO TO ohiostatebuckeyes.com FOR LIVE STATS
Live stats for the Illinois game will be available at www.ohiostatebuckyes.com. Click on the “live stats” link in the upper right corner of the women’s soccer home page found at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

The Big Ten Conference women’s soccer coaches picked Penn State as the team to beat in the league this season with Illinois, Purdue and Ohio State rounding out the top four.
Ohio State will host all three teams that are ranked ahead of it in the Big Ten preseason poll. In addition to the Illinois game Friday, Ohio State will host Purdue Oct. 28 and the regular-season ending Penn State contest is set for Nov. 2.

The Big Ten Conference is enjoying a successful non-conference season as 10 of the 11 schools have .500 or above records entering the opening week of Big Ten games. Purdue leads the way at 8-1-1. Indiana (6-1-1) and Ohio State (6-3) are tied for the second-most non-conference wins. The Big Ten is 53-24-12 vs. non-conference teams in 2007. Six teams have current winning streaks of three or more games.

This is the ninth season that Ohio State has played its home games in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes are 55-22-7 all-time at Jesse Owens and in the last four seasons they are an impressive 36-7-5 at home (.795). Ohio State has also won seven consecutive matches at JOMS. The team’s last loss at home was to Michigan on Oct. 22, 2006.

Ohio State is in the midst of four games against teams that qualified for the 2006 NCAA tournament, including the defending national champion. Ohio State is 0-3 so far in this stretch of games, having lost at Louisville (2-0) vs. North Carolina (5-0) and at Duke (2-1).

Illinois comes into the contest a winner in four-consecutive contests: 4-0 over Cal State Northridge; 1-0 over Florida; 2-1 over Kansas and 3-0 over Indiana State. The Illini are under the direction of sixth-year coach Janet Rayfield, who has guided four of her five previous Illinois teams into the NCAA tournament. Some Illinois quick facts:

  • The Illini are led by team captain and 2006 Big Ten Player of the Year Ella Masar (5-2-12), who has matched Ohio State’s Lara Dickenmann with three game-winners this year.
  • Freshman Laura Knutson (3-1-7), junior Emily Zurer (3-0-6) and junior Marti Desjarlais (2-2-6) provide additional offensive support.
  • Goalkeeper Lindsey Carstens has played all but 45 minutes this season and is 5-2-0 with a 1.08 goals against average.
  • Zurrer (co-defensive) and Chichi Nweke (freshman of the year) joined Masar in an Illinois sweep of the 2006 Big Ten awards, a conference first.
  • Masar was named a second-team All-America selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America last year, while Zurrer was a third-team selection by the NSCAA.

The game Friday will be the 11th meeting between Ohio State and Illinois. The teams have each won five times and have split the last four meetings, including a 2-0 Ohio State win in Champaign last year and Illinois’ 2-1 win at Jesse Owens in 2005.

Ohio State vs. Illiinois
Ohio State 2, at Illinois 0
2005 Illinois 2, at Ohio State 1
2004 at Ohio State 3, Illinois 0
2003 at Illinois 2, Ohio State 0
2002 at Ohio State 2, Illinois 1
2001 Ohio State 3, at Illinois 1
2000 Illinois 4, at Ohio State 0
1999 at Illinois 5, Ohio State 2
1998 Illinois 5, at Ohio State 1
1997 Ohio State 3, at Illinois 1

Lara Dickenmann broke open a scoreless game last year in the 75th minute with an unassisted goal and then added the clincher eight minutes later off an assist from Caitlin Colfer as Ohio State defeated No. 10 Illinois, 2-0, in Champaign. The loss was the Illini’s first in the Big Ten after opening with four-consecutive wins. A few more notes on the series:

  • Lisa Collison scored OSU’s only goal in the 2-1 two overtime loss to Illinois in 2005. The goal was one of 13 on the season for Collison, tying the school record.
  • Lara Dickenmann scored the game-winner in Ohio State’s 3-0 win in 2004. She also added an assist on the second goal, scored by all-time leading scorer Lisa Grubb (35).
  • Like the overall series record at five wins apiece, the record between the teams at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium is also deadlocked at two wins apiece.

Ohio State’s Lori Walker is in her 11th season as head coach of the Buckeyes. She started with the program in 1996 and has coached the Buckeyes to two Big Ten Tournament championships 2002 and 2004 and into the NCAA Championship field three times (consecutively between 2002-04). In 2004 she guided the Buckeyes to their finest season ever: a 19-4-3 record, champion of the Big Ten Tournament and three NCAA tournament wins before losing to UCLA in the elite eight, 1-0. Walker is 115-85-15 at Ohio State and 128-108-16 all-time. She was head coach at Kansas for two seasons prior to coming to Ohio State.

Ohio State’s 6-0 start represented the first time in the program’s 15-year history that a team has started 6-0. The wins all came at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. In the process of building a 6-0 mark at home this year, the Buckeyes have outscored the opposition, 14-3, outshot them, 114-62, and had 20 more corner kicks 36-16. Goalkeeper Lauren Robertson has been in net for all the games and has recorded four shutouts. The other two contests were double-overtime affairs a 3-2 win over St. Louis and a 2-1 win over Ohio. Lara Dickenmann scored the game winners in each of the overtime games.

Ohio State went on the road for the first time Sept. 16 and dropped a 2-0 decision to Louisville. The team then played in the Duke adidas Classic where they were defeated by No. 8 North Carolina, 5-0, and Duke, 2-1. The three-game losing streak is Ohio State’s first since the 2005 season, a stretch of 36 games. Head coach Lori Walker on the Duke adidas Classic games:

     “You take a trip like this to allow the game of soccer to teach us. As long as we can gather some lessons from the weekend, it won’t be a total loss. Carolina and Duke are teams we want to see in November [in NCAA competition]. Going forward, I think we’ve learned to play faster. And I think we’ve learned that it takes putting 90 minutes together on the field to finish and win games.”

Ashley Bowyer, a sophomore midfielder, and Lara Dickenmann were each selected to the 11-player Duke adidas Classic all-tournament team. Dickenmann had the Buckeyes’ only goal of the tournament, a bender that tied the score with Duke in the second half. Amanda Ball set Dickenmann up for the score. Bowyer’s play was terrific. Head coach Lori Walker: “Ashley Bowyer played extremely well in the midfield and made a difference.”

      More 2007 News, Notes and Good Stuff on the Buckeyes...

  • Lara Dickenmann has 82 career points, third-best at Ohio State. Lisa Grubb (95 from 2001-06) and Lisa Suttmiller (83 from 1994-97) are one-two.
  • Junior Lisa Collison is tied for 8th-place with 55 career points.
  • Carla Arbulu has moved into a tie for 8th-place at Ohio State with 13 career assists. She has assisted on three game-winning goals over the past two seasons. 
  • Hermann Trophy candidate Dickenmann leads the team with four goals, nne points and 27 shots, including 13 on goal.
  • Dickenmann has scored three game-winning goals this season (vs. St. Louis, San Diego and Ohio).
  • Dickenmann, a senior tri-captain, is 5th at Ohio State with 27 career goals.
  • Lisa Collison scored the 25th goal of her career and it was huge. It tied the score with Ohio in the 50th minute. Collison ranks 6th all-time at OSU in goals scored.
  • A total of 14 players have scored at least one point this season with sophomore Ashley Bowyer (2-2-6) and senior Carla Arbulu (1-3-5) 2nd and 3rd in points scored, respectively.
  • Eight players have scored goals and five have scored at least two goals, including three freshmen: Courtney Jenkins, Alex Burzynski and Genna Brand.
  • Goalkeeper Lauren Robertson has played every minute this season. With four shutouts already, she needs just two more to move into OSU’s single season Top 5.
  • True freshmen Jenkins and Lauren Hallauer have started all nine games while freshman Burzynski and red-shirt freshman Lauren Steuer have eight starts apiece.
  • Despite being outscored (9-1) and outshot (45-31) the last three games, Ohio State has outscored (15-12) and outshot (145-107) its opponents this season.
  • Ohio State’s win over San Diego was the 150th in 15 years of women’s soccer at OSU.
  • Seven players have started all nine of OSU’s game this season: M Lara Dickenmann; M/F Ashley Bowyer; F Courtney Jenkins; M Amanda Ball; B Keiana Mitchell; B Lauren Hallauer and GK Lauren Robertson.

Ohio State’s freshmen class, judged No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 13 nationally by Soccer Buzz Magazine, has made an immediate impact on the success of the team. Through nine games eight freshmen have combined to score 18 of the team’s 46 points. A few more fun frosh facts:

  • Alex Burzynski and Courtney Jenkins have taken 18 and 17 shots, respectively. Burzynski is tied for second on the team and Jenkins is fourth.
  • Freshmen combined for five points in the win over Wright State: Jenkins and Genna Brand each scored and Lauren Beachy added an assist.
  • In an exciting five-goal game against St. Louis that featured five lead changes and/or  ties, Burzynski tied the score at 2-all off assists from freshman Emily Esbrook and sophomore Ashley Bowyer.
  • A freshmen trio combined to give the Buckeyes a 2-0 edge in the win over Butler as Genna Brand scored off the post with assists from Esbrook and Ali Whitehurst.
  • Later in the Butler game, Jenkins, took a feed from Carla Arbulu and blasted a shot from 15-yards out to close the scoring.

Senior tri-captain Lara Dickenmann has been named to the preseason watch list for the Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in intercollegiate soccer. Dickenmann also has been named to MajorLeagueSoccer Magazine’s preseason All-America team. MLS is a new soccer publication that debuted in July.

Three shutout victories, 13 saves made plus an assist netted sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Robertson the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week award Sept. 10 and also a spot on Soccer Buzz Magazine’s Elite Team of the Week. The Buckeyes defeated Wright State, Pepperdine and San Diego. Robertson’s week included a sterling, seven-save performance in Ohio State’s win over 24th-ranked San Diego.

Carla Arbulu was named to Soccer Buzz Magazine’s first Elite Team of the Week for 2007 (Sept. 3). The forward/defender from Grover Beach, Calif., recorded five points in OSU wins over Butler and St. Louis. Arbulu notched two assists in the season-opening win over Butler and then tallied a goal and an assist on Lara Dickenmann’s game winner in the second overtime in the 3-2, victory over St. Louis.

Lisa Collison was a member Team Canada’s U-20 national team and Lara Dickenmann is a member of the Swiss National Team. The two international stars tied for the OSU team lead last year with 23 points apiece. In addition, Ashley Bowyer has played three games with the U.S. U-20 squad.
Ohio State has had a women’s soccer program since 1993, making this season the 15th in school history. The program’s all-time record is 151-123-18.