No. 11/14 Ohio State Women's Soccer Visits No. 23 Illinois and Northwestern
Oct. 7, 2003
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 11/14 Ohio State women's soccer team (8-1-2, 2-1-2) embarks on road trip No. 2 in Big Ten play this season as the Buckeyes matchup with No. 23/25 Illinois Friday night at 7 p.m. (CST) and complete the weekend swing with a 12:30 p.m.(CST) match against the Northwestern Wildcats.
The weekend should call for solid defensive contests as the Buckeyes and Illini are tied for first in the league in goals against average, allowing just 0.55 goals per contests, while the Wildcats give up just over one score (1.36 GAA) per match.
LAST WEEK: BUCKEYES MATCH MICHIGAN 1-1, TOP MICHIGAN STATE 1-0
The Buckeyes responded to the tie against the Wolverines with a dramatic and hard-fought 1-0 win over Michigan State Sunday. Juniors Erica Nollen and Emily Gilbert converted a corner kick in the 83rd minute to assure Ohio State's 8th win of the season.
BUCKEYES MATCH BEST START EVER
BUCKEYES AMONG NATIONAL TOP 25
After tying Michigan and defeating Michigan State this past weekend the Buckeyes have climbed six spots to the No. 14 slot in the SoccerBuzz.com rankings.
The Buckeyes remained in the 16th position in the soccertimes.com poll.
The Buckeyes remain No. 2 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional poll also behind UND.
SINKWAY DEEMED BIG TEN CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sinkway, who has seen action in eight of the 11 matches this year, leads the Ohio State squad with more than 432 minutes in net and 22 saves, while also posting a sparkling 0.21 goals against average. Sinkway, who shared the weekly conference award with Indiana goalkeeper Shaunna Daugherty, has closed out six wins this season en route to posting a 2-1 overall record.
BUCKEYES VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
The Buckeyes boast a 4-1 record in their last five meetings with ranked teams, including a win last season vs. then-No. 24 Michigan in the semifinals of the 2002 Big Ten Tournament.
AN EYE ON THE ILLINI
The Illini are led by junior forward Tara Hurless. Hurless is the Illini's top scorer on the season with five goals and 12 points. Last season, Hurless was named second team All-Big Ten, scoring 12 goals in 2002.
Net-minding duties belong to a former 2003 Big Ten player of the week, junior Leisha Alcia. Alcia sports a 7-2-1 record and has 1,001 minutes, 32 saves and a goals against average of 0.54. In 2002 Alcia set the Illinois saves record with 97. In 2001 Alcia was named to the freshmen All-American team and a spot on the Canadian National Team.
The head coach for Illinois is Janet Rayfond. Rayfond is now in her second season with the Illini, she owns a 17-13-2 record at Illinois and a 62-77-9 career mark.
LAST SEASON: ILLINI INVADE COLUMBUS
Leading the way for Ohio State were Lisa Grubb and Danielle Dietrich. Dietrich's score would even the match at 1-1 when she fired a 30-yard shot past goalkeeper Leisha Alcia. Less than four minutes later Lisa Grubb knocked in the game-winner by re-directing a shot from Danielle Dietrich with the back of her heel past Alcia.
Emily Haynam would preserve the Buckeyes victory by making five saves in the second half.
OHIO STATE-ILLINOIS All-Time
WORD ON THE WILDCATS
The Wildcats are led by junior forward Kristen Pierce. Pierce is the leading scorer for the Wildcats with three goals and eight points. Joining Pierce up front is fellow senior forward Aileen Guiney. Guiney, who has six points on the season, set school records in assists (five) and points (11) in 2002.
The goaltender for the Wildcats is freshman Whitney Jones. Jones, has tallied a 1.34 goal against average along with 39 saves. Jones also has completed four shutouts.
Jenny Haigh is now in her third season as the Wildcats head coach. Haigh owns an 18-25-5 career mark. Before coming to Northwestern, Haigh assisted in building the Arizona State women's program. At ASU she assisted with a program that went from a 4-12 1997 season to a NCAA tournament participant in 2000.
LAST SEASON: OSU ESCAPES EVANSTON
Ohio State's second goal came in the 50th minute of play when Kelly Enmark fielded a spectacular pass from Jen Miller and one-timed it past McCreery from 25 yards out.
Northwestern would tally a goal in the 52nd minute when Kristen Pierce looped a shot over the head of OSU goalkeeper Jen Heaney.
In addition to Dietrich's effort, Freshman Jackie Lafond set a career-high with two goals in the Youngstown State win.
Junior midfielder Emily Gilbert fueled Ohio State's 3-1 win over Coastal Carolina with her first two-goal performance of her career, as the Cincinnati native netted a header in both the first and second halves of last Sunday's contest. Gilbert also set a career-best in assists in one game, as she played a hand on three scores in the 4-1 triumph at Wright State.
Fellow junior Liz Mumley also established a career-high when she netted two goals in the Buckeye win over Wright State on August 31.
In the first match of the season, Ohio State junior Lisa Grubb posted two goals in Ohio State's 4-1 win over Indiana State en route to being named Big Ten offensive player of the week for Sept. 1.
On the offensive side, the Buckeyes rank third in shots (186), points (84), goals (26) and goals per game (2.36), while placing first in assists with 32 and assists per game at 2.91.
Individually, Ohio State junior defender Paige Harrison leads the conference with seven assists, while fellow junior Emily Gilbert is tied for second in the same category with five scoring passes.
Included in Ohio State's offensive dominance is an 32-8 advantage in assists.
Most recently, Ohio State held Michigan State to one corner kick, which came in the 88th minutes, in last week's 1-0 decision over the Spartans.
KEEPER BY COMMITTEE
Leading the way is Sinkway who has posted over 432 minutes and has posted a 2-1 record, including a shutout. Sinkway has emerged as a talented and strong competitor in goal. Sinkway has posted a sparkling GAA of 0.21. She also leads her teammates with 22 saves and a save percentage of .957.
Haynam has started eight of the 11 contests played this season and posts a 0.97 GAA with 22 saves and a .833 save percentage.
Heaney, who has started two games this season, has posted three victories and has allowed zero goals and posts a stellar 0.00 GAA. Heaney also has seen action in the Buckeye frontline.
Ohio State also enjoys a 94-53 advantage in shots on goal.
Overall, the Ohio State defense has allowed just 0.52 goals per game, as each of the 11 opponents has been held to no more than one goal in a single contest.
BUCKEYES PLAY FULL 90
Ohio State has posted near-identical first and second half combined figures in several other categories, as the Buckeyes have totaled 97 of their 186 shots in the second half. In addition, Ohio State has nearly split its corner kick opportunities right down the middle, as the Buckeyes have fired 39 in the first stanza and 43 in the second period.
GRUBB SCORES BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Grubb, the 2002 Big Ten Tournament Offensive MVP, tallied her 18th and 19th career goals and ninth career assist in the victory, as she moved into sixth place in the program's career points list with 45.