W Soccer: Buckeyes Set to Battle Mich. St. and Michigan

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State takes to the road this weekend riding a six-game winning streak and taking nothing for granted as it prepares for its two toughest games to date: 4 p.m. Friday at Michigan State and noon Sunday at Michigan.

Live stats for this weekend’s games are available through the host school’s web sites.

Michigan State: visit the women’s soccer home page at: www.msuspartans.cstv.com

Michigan: visit the women’s soccer home page found at: www.mgoblue.com

The game Friday at MSU’s renovated DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field will match the surging Buckeyes, at 6-4-2 overall and 3-0-0 in the Big Ten, against a Spartan team that went 8-0-0 out of the blocks but has dropped three of its last five games and is 10-3-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the Big Ten.

Corner Kicks:
Ohio State is 39th and Michigan State 40th in the first RPI rankings that came out this week.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with the Spartans, 8-6-0, and has won the last two games (3-0 in 2007 and 2-0 in 2006) and four of the last five.
The Spartans last win was at home in 2005.
Lisa Collison scored twice vs. the Spartans last year and Alex Burzynski also scored.
Collison also scored in the 2006 win, giving her three goals vs. the Spartans.
GK Lauren Robertson has recorded the shutouts in the last two contests.
Spartans Laura Heyboer, Lauren Hill and Cara Freeman have 31, 23 and 19 points, respectively. Heyboer has 12 goals to lead the Big Ten.
MSU averaged 3.0 goals per game in its nine non-conference games but is scoring half that number in four Big Ten games.
Ohio State is averaging 2.0 goals per game against the Big Ten after averaging 1.6 goals through the non-conference season. 
Michigan, 0-2-2 in the Big Ten and 3-6-4 overall, will be dedicating a new soccer complex this weekend: the three-field UM Soccer Complex. The noon contest is part of a doubleheader with the Michigan men, who play W. Michigan. 

Corner Kicks II:
Michigan leads this series, 11-6-2, but four wins and a tie in the last eight contests has helped Ohio State pull closer in the series.
This is Michigan’s final home game - its final four conference games are on the road - and the Wolverine senior class will be honored.
Ohio State won last year in Columbus, 1-0, on a goal by Laura Roberts.
Michigan’s freshman class was tabbed No. 1 in the Big Ten by SoccerBuzz. The group has had a hand in 12 of the team’s 16 goals this season.
Amanda Bowery leads UM with five goals and 13 points.

Ohio State, Penn State (each 3-0-0) and Illinois (3-0-1) trail Purdue (3-0-1) by one point in the standings. The Buckeyes’ own wins at Indiana (1-0) and at home over Wisconsin (4-0) and Northwestern (1-0).

  The Spartans defeated Minnesota and Iowa by a combined six goals in the first Big Ten weekend but dropped 3-0 and 2-0 games last weekend at Illinois and Purdue, respectively.

  Michigan has tied Iowa and Purdue (away) with 1-0 losses to both Minnesota and at Illinois. 

Big Ten Conference wins over Wisconsin (4-0) and Northwestern (1-0) last weekend at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium have extended the Buckeyes’ winning streak to six consecutive games. During the winning streak:

Game-winning goals have been scored by Lisa Collison four times and also by Paige Maxwell and Courtney Jenkins.
Collison has five goals and 11 points.
Maxwell has three goals and seven points.
Ashley Bowyer (three assists), Taylor Moront (two goals) and Lauren Beachy (two assists) have points in multiple games.
Keeper Lauren “Taz” Robertson has four consecutive shutouts.
The team is outscoring its opponents 13-2 in goals and 15-0 in assists.

Senior forward Lisa Collison’s five goals in the last six games has moved her into second-place at Ohio State with 34 career goals. She trails only Lisa Grubb (35 goals from 2001-06). Collison’s 78 career points rank fourth all-time at Ohio State.

Paige Maxwell is this week’s Big Ten Conference Offensive Player of the Week, the third consecutive week a Buckeye has been honored (after Lisa Collison and Lauren Robertson were honored the past two weeks).  

  In the 4-0 win Friday over Wisconsin, Maxwell scored the decisive third goal in the 56th minute that increased a tenuous 2-0 lead to a more comfortable 3-0 advantage. Maxwell scored the game-winner just 2:19 into the Northwestern game, a 1-0 Ohio State win. 

Maxwell had five shots on goal this weekend and she is now tied for the team lead at 10 with Lisa Collison. Maxwell’s all seem to come from in close...right in front of the goal area...perhaps in an area called “Maxwell’s house.”

Lisa Collison was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com College Team of the Week this week after scoring the first two goals in Ohio State’s 4-0 win Friday over Wisconsin. The scores both came in the first half.

GK Lauren “Taz” Robertson has not allowed a goal in 396 minutes over parts of five games. She has recorded four consecutive shutouts to increase her career total to 16 and move her into sole possession of second place on Ohio State’s all-time list. Amber Barnes holds the record with 22.5 shutouts between 1997-2000.

The back line that played so well this past weekend included weekend starters Lauren Steuer, Danielle Scoliere, Colleen Brady and Elizabeth Sullivan. Kelsi Landri has played well coming off the bench and Lauren Cusick has seen some action, too. Remarkably, five of those six defenders are true freshman with Steuer the only sophomore of the bunch.

Ohio State’s No. 39 ranking in the intitial RPI  - the ranking helps determine the NCAA tournament at-large teams - is impressive when one considers the team started 0-4-2 and is third in the Big Ten behind Illinois and Penn State (RPI Nos. 14 and 18, respectively). 
The tough start record-wise included losses to two RPI top 10 teams (No. 6 Duke and No. 10 Rutgers) and another to No. 34 Milwaukee.
This is a great stat: the team’s 25 assists rank second in the Big Ten despite the team’s total goals (21) ranking only sixth.
Here’s another great stat: Brooke Taylor is fourth on the team in shots on goal (5) and fifth in shots (10)...and 13th in minutes played. Granted, she plays a position that affords such opportunities and she’s doing a great job taking advantage of them, too.
Ashley Bowyer is in the single season top 10 with six assists. She needs two for the top five.
Lori Walker is in her 12th-year as Ohio State head coach. She has guided the team to four NCAA tournament berths (2002-03-04-07), four Big Ten tournament championship games and two Big Ten tournament titles (2002 and 2004). She has an Ohio State record of 125-96-20 and an overall mark, which includes two years at Kansas, of 138-119-21.

Ohio State concludes its home season with a 7:30 p.m. game Oct. 17 vs. Iowa and a 1 p.m. game Oct. 19 vs. Minnesota. Seniors will be honored prior to the Minnesota game.