Ohio State Women's Soccer on the Road Against NU and Wisconsin

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s soccer team aims to continue its winning ways this weekend with two Big Ten Conference games on the road. The team puts its 7-3-0 record (1-0-0 in the Big Ten) on the line at 4 p.m. (EST) Friday against Northwestern and then again Sunday at 2 p.m. at Wisconsin in a game televised by the Big Ten Network.

     Seven wins in its first 10 games is one of the best starts in Ohio State’s 15-year soccer history. Only the 1996 team that started 8-2 had more wins after 10 games. Coming off an overtime win over Illinois in its Big Ten opener last Friday, the 2007 Buckeyes can claim ownership of a program first by starting a Big Ten campaign with two-consecutive wins for the first time. It will not be easy, though.

     Ohio State is 0-3 away from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season and has been outscored, 9-1, by three teams North Carolina, Duke and Louisville that are a combined 20-7-3. The last time Ohio State made this two-game trip to Evanston and Madison, in 2005, a Big Ten tournament berth was on the line and Ohio State suffered two losses: 2-1 in overtime to Northwestern and 3-1 to Wisconsin. The team missed the tournament as a result.

     Furthermore, both Northwestern and Wisconsin are 0-2 in the Big Ten Conference, have lost three-consecutive games and will be fiercely competitive for a win. The Wildcats, 3-5-1 overall, are coming off 4-0 and 2-0 road losses at Purdue and Indiana, respectively. Wisconsin, 5-4-2 overall, also lost twice on its Hoosier swing last week: 4-3 at Indiana and 5-0 at Purdue. (IU and Purdue are a combined 18-2-2.)

     Throw in the early season intensity of the Big Ten race for a championship plus a regional television audience on Sunday and this weekend is already setting up to be an exciting and important one for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State’s men’s soccer team had the honor of being the first team aired by the Big Ten Network. BTN kicked off its network programming with Ohio State’s match Aug. 31 against West Virginia (a 1-0 OSU win). Sunday’s game against the Badgers will also be aired by BTN and it will be the first appearance on the network for the women’s soccer team.

Ohio State is receiving votes in both the NSCAA/adidas and the Soccer Buzz Magazine national Top 25 polls. Regionally, Ohio State is ranked 6th in the Great Lakes Region by Soccer Buzz and 8th by NSCAA/adidas.

The broadcast team announcing the OSU/Wisconsin will include Lisa Grubb, a four-year letterwinner over the course of six years for Ohio State (2001-06). Grubb has played with everyone on the team except the 13 freshmen. She holds Ohio State career records for most goals (35), points (95) and shots (325) and she is second with 25 assists.

Ohio State’s 7-3-0 start has been built on the foundation of excellent play at home as witnessed by the team’s 7-0-0 record and a reversal of fortune in overtime contests. Heading into this season, Ohio State had not won an overtime game since the 2003 season, going 0-6-6 and with losses in its last three overtime contests. No one on this team had even been part of an OSU overtime win, but that has all changed this year. Consider:

  • MAC Hermann Trophy and All-America candidate Lara Dickenmann scored the game winner with 6:20 play in the second overtime for a 3-2 win over St. Louis in the second game of the season. Senior Carla Arbulu assisted on the play.
  • Dickenmann scored another game winner against Ohio in Game 6, scoring unassisted in the 104th minute to give OSU a 2-1 win.
  • And Friday against Illinois, Lisa Collison received a lovely against-the-flow pass from Dickenmann and drove home the game-winner in the 108th minute for a 2-1 Ohio State win.

Northwestern has won two consecutive overtime games over Ohio State 4-3 last year in Columbus and 2-1 in 2005 in Evanston and now trails in the all-time series by only a 7-5-1 margin. Ohio State’s last win was a 2-1 win at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in 2004. A few more notes on the OSU vs. NU series:

  • Ohio State is 1-4-1 all-time in games played in Evanston with the only win coming in 2002, 2-1.
  • Lisa Collison scored a hat trick in the first half of the game last year that brought the Buckeyes back from a two-goal deficit. (Lisa Grubb assisted on Collison’s third goal.) Northwestern eventually tied the game in the 67th minute and won it in overtime. Collison had nine shots including five on goal.
  • The three goals, part of an 11-goal season for Collison, tied the school record that had been accomplished six times previously.
  • Carla Arbulu scored the Buckeyes’ only goal in the 2-1 loss to NU in 2005.
  • Lisa Grubb scored twice, including the game winner in overtime, to lead Ohio State to a 2-1 win in 2004.

The Badgers and the Buckeyes are meeting for the 17th time in the series with Wisconsin holding a 7-6-3 series edge. Ohio State has had control of the series most recently, however, with a 4-1-2 advantage since the 2001 season. Ohio State won last year in Columbus, 2-1. Wisconsin won the last meeting in Madison: 3-1 in 2005. Some additional points of interest:

  • Lara Dickenmann opened the scoring in last year’s 2-1 OSU win with a goal in the 20th minute.
  • Then OSU-freshman Caitlin Colfer recorded an assist in the 3-1 loss to the Badgers in 2005. It was Colfer’s sixth assist of the season, which led the team.

Despite being 0-3 on the road this season, Ohio State is not thinking “oh-no.” The team also is not singing along with Willie Nelson “just can’t wait to get on the road again” but they are determined to break on through to the other side of the won-loss column away from Jesse Owens. The three road games were all against 2006 NCAA tournament schools including defending national champion North Carolina at the Duke adidas Classic. 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.”

Ohio State snapped its three-game losing streak in a big way last Friday. A charged crowd of 1,007 left Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium thrilled after the 2-1 overtime win over Illinois. Junior Lisa Collison scored the game winner 107 minutes into the match off an assist from Lara Dickenmann.

     “The leaders on this team are finding ways to win,” Lori Walker said. “Lisa Collison is finding her confidence and when Lara runs with the ball, that’s what she does best.” 

     Dickenmann had dribbled about 20 yards with the ball and was approaching the 18-yard box when she passed the ball against the flow to her right to a wide open Collison, who buried the game winner from about 10-yards out. The goal was her second of the season. A few more game notes:

  • Sophomore Ashley Bowyer started the team’s first scoring play by intercepting a ball at midfield and calmly sending a clean through pass to junior Collison, who was nearing the 18-yard box from the left side. Collison made a nice fake and a change-of-direction move to free herself and blasted a shot from 14-yards that hit the crossbar. Freshman Alex Burzynski was lingering unmarked in the box and she was able to push the rebound into the open net for her third goal of the season with Collison credited with an assist.
  • OSU goalkeeper Robinson was superb with five saves.

The Buckeyes opened the season 6-0-0 for the first time in program history, including wins over a now-ranked San Diego (7-1-2) team and 7-3 Wright State, then suffered three defeats on the road before defeating a talented Illinois team in its last game.  The team is averaging 15.80 shots (4th in Big Ten) and 1.70 goals (T6th). Defensively, the Buckeyes are 9th in the conference allowing 1.30 goals per game, 4th in saves (4.30) and T3rd in shutouts (four).

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

  • Goalkeeper Lauren Robertson is tied for 2nd in the Big Ten with four shutouts and she needs just two more to crack Ohio State’s single-season Top 5.
  • Lara Dickenmann is tied for the Big Ten lead with three game-winning goals.
  • Dickenmann tied Lisa Suttmiller for second on the career points chart with her assist on Lisa Collison’s game winner vs. Illinois. Dickenmann has 83 career points and trails only Lisa Grubb (95 from 2001-06).
  • Oops! The page in the Ohio State media guide that includes career assists records should have had Dickenmann No. 1 with 27. She has since upped that record to 29.
  • Junior Lisa Collison is tied for 6th at Ohio Statewith 58 career points.
  • Carla Arbulu has moved into a tie for 8th-place at Ohio State with 13 career assists.
  • A total of 14 players have scored at least one point this season for the Buckeyes.
  • Ohio State’s top four scorers include a senior, junior, sophomore and freshman.
  • Hermann Trophy candidate Dickenmann leads the team with four goals, 10 points and 30 shots, including 15 on goal.
  • Freshman Alex Burzynski (3-0-6), junior Collison (2-2-6) and sophomore Ashley Bowyer (2-2-6) are tied for 2nd in points.
  • Dickenmann has scored three game-winning goals this season (vs. St. Louis, San Diego and Ohio).
  • Bowyer has two game winners vs. Butler and Pepperdine with Courtney Jenkins and Collison each scoring one.
  • Dickenmann, a senior tri-captain, is 5th at Ohio State with 27 career goals.
  • 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.
  • The Buckeyes’ probable weekend starting lineup includes three seniors, one junior, two sophomores and five freshmen. True freshmen Jenkins and Lauren Hallauer have started all 10 games while freshman Burzynski and red-shirt freshman Lauren Steuer have nine starts apiece.
  • Ohio State’s win over San Diego was the 150th in 15 years of women’s soccer at OSU.

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 20 of the team’s 52 points. Seniors have scored 17 points, juniors eight and sophomores seven. A few more fun frosh facts:

  • Alex Burzynski and Courtney Jenkins have taken 20 and 19 shots, respectively. Burzynski is third on the team and Jenkins is fourth in attempts.
  • 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.

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. The top four to date: Purdue, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota all with 2-0 records. Ohio State and Penn State are each 1-0. Five schools are 0-2.

Ohio State will host all three teams that are ranked ahead of it in the Big Ten preseason poll. In addition to Illinois last Friday, Ohio State will host Purdue Oct. 28 and the regular-season ending Penn State contest is set for Nov. 2. Ohio State also hosts 8-1-1 Indiana Oct. 26.

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 and the team added a seventh win Friday. In the process of building a 7-0 mark at home this year, the Buckeyes have outscored the opposition, 16-4, out-shot them, 127-79, and had 17 more corner kicks 39-22. Goalkeeper Lauren Robertson has been in net for all the games and has recorded four shutouts. The other three contests were double-overtime affairs a 3-2 win over St. Louis, a 2-1 win over Ohio and a 2-1 win over Illinois.

This is the ninth season that Ohio State has played its home games in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes are 56-22-7 all-time at Jesse Owens and in the last four seasons they are an impressive 37-7-5 at home (.795). Ohio State has also won eight consecutive matches at JOMS. The team’s last loss at home was to Michigan on Oct. 22, 2006.

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 116-85-15 at Ohio State and 129-108-16 all-time. She was head coach at Kansas for two seasons prior to coming to Ohio State.

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.”

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 152-123-18.