Oct. 11, 2000
COLUMBUS, Ohio--The Ohio State women's soccer team ended its steak of five-consecutive losses Friday when it defeated visiting Iowa, 2-1. OSU then lost to Illinois, 4-0, Sunday and saw its record fall to 5-9 overall and 1-6 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes now have the tough task ahead in earning wins away from the friendly confines of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium when they play four-consecutive road matches, three of which are in the Big Ten.
Prior to the start of the OSU-Illinois match Sunday, Buckeye coach Lori Walker and the entire OSU team honored Elisa Hamilton (Jr., Westerville, Ohio/Westerville North) by renaming the Buckeye Fury Award the Elisa Hamilton-Buckeye Fury award.
Hamilton is sidelined this season because of a career-ending knee injury she sustained last year in a match with Illinois. She was known for her tough and aggressive style of play, and her crowd-pleasing flipping-throw-in.
"The Elisa Hamilton-Buckeye Fury Award is given to the player that is mentally and physically prepared on the field and goes the extra inch for the sake of the team," Walker said. "This is a tremendous honor to relate a player's style of play to Elisa."
Miller First Recipient
The first recipient of the renamed Elisa Hamilton-Buckeye Fury Award was Jen Miller (So., Centerville, Ohio/Centerville). Walker recognized Miller for her play in the 4-0 loss to Illinois Sunday.
"Jen is having one of her most stellar seasons this year," Walker said. "The change of personnel in front of her this season has probably been frustrating for our silent leader, but she has really stepped up her play. She played a tough match Sunday."
Though a defensive player, Miller has come forward to record a team-high five assists. That assist total also has her currently ranked fifth in the Big Ten.
With only three chances to improve on its conference record remaining this season, OSU will have to record victories on the road. Those three games, at Northwestern, Michigan and Penn State, respectively, will be tough, especially when the Buckeyes travel to Happy Valley to play No. 6 PSU.
OSU's record on NU, UM and PSU's home fields is 1-6. The Buckeyes also have been out-scored 18-4 in those seven games.
"It is difficult to win on the road," Walker said. " But, I think we can play with anyone at any given time so we will just have to play like we can."
Under the direction of Walker, OSU teams have gone a collective 2-5 against Northwestern and Michigan and are 0-2 when visiting the opponents.
"It will be tough to play at Northwestern because you never know what the weather is going to be like with the lake," Walker said of NU's Lakeside Field being on the shore of Lake Michigan. "Both teams have seen some bad luck this season. We will just have to play a good game and control the aspects we can control.
"We have already played at Michigan this season (Michigan NIKE Invitational, Sept. 8-10) and we looked comfortable on that field," Walker said. "We won one and lost one and hopefully we can our second win there this season."
The Wildcats enter their match with OSU Friday with a record of 2-9-1 overall and a 1-6 mark in the Big Ten. NU also has lost six-consecutive games in the conference after opening the Big Ten schedule with a 1-0 victory over Indiana.
Seventh-year coach Marcia McDermott has seen her Wildcats struggle through the Big Ten this season. In its six conference losses, NU has been outscored 8-1 and been shut out in five games, including the last two matches. As a team, Northwestern has netted 10 goals this season.
Leading the Wildcats on offense are junior Katie Hertz and freshman Kristen Pearce. Hertz leads the team with nine total points from four goals and one assist. Two of her four goals are the only goals that the Wildcats have scored in the Big Ten this season. Pearce has amassed six points on two goals and two assists.
On defense is senior goalkeeper Erin Ekeberg. Ekeberg has recorded 77 saves in the 12 NU games, which is fourth among all Big Ten goalkeepers, and is 11th overall in goals against average with 1.70 per game. Her two shutouts also rank her 10th in the conference.
Walker On The Wildcats
"Both teams enter this match on a string of bad luck and really have nothing to loose. Though they have struggled lately, we can not take that for granted. We have to play our game to win."
The Buckeyes vs. The Wildcats
Ohio State holds a 4-2 advantage in the series with Northwestern and has won the previous two matches, both home contests.
In the last match, Oct. 17, 1999, OSU defeated NU, 3-2. The last time OSU visited the Wildcats, NU soundly defeated the Buckeyes 7-0. That match was Oct. 17, 1997.
NU has outscored the Buckeyes in the series, 13-11, and have recorded both of its victories by shutout.
Debbie Belkin Rademacher, Michigan's seventh-year coach, saw her team stumble out of the gate this season as the Wolverines lost their first three games. All three of those teams now are nationally ranked. Arizona State (now 11-1 and 20th by Soccer Buzz), USC (8-1-2/ 10th) and Washington (11-1/4th in the latest NSCAA poll) helped UM to the 0-3 start.
Since the slow start, Michigan (7-5, 5-2 Big Ten) has won seven of its last nine matches and outscored its opponents 25-7.
Leading the offense is sophomore Abby Crumpton and freshman Stephanie Chavez. Crumpton is 10th in the Big Ten in scoring with 14 points on five goals and four assists while Chavez is 11th with 13 points on four goals and five assists. Chavez's five assists tie her for fifth with OSU's Jen Miller.
Splitting the goalkeeping duties are senior Carissa Stewart and freshman Suzie Grech. Stewart is 10th among conference goalkeepers with 37 saves while Grech is 11th with 34. Grech also is fifth in goals against average with a 1.70 and is seventh in shutouts with three.
Walker On Michigan
"We have had a very good rivalry with Michigan. They had an up-and-down beginning to their season and have been playing very well in the conference. I am not sure what to expect except that if we play like we can, we can beat them. They are beatable on any given day."
The Buckeyes vs The Wolverines
The Buckeyes are 3-5 all-time when playing the Wolverines and are 1-1 against UM in Ann Arbor, Mich. UM also holds the scoring edge, 13-7 in all matches and a 4-3 margin in scoring when it plays host to the Buckeyes.
In the last meeting, the Wolverines recorded a 2-1 victory in Columbus on Sept. 17, 1999.
Ohio State entered its home match with Illinois Sunday after posting its first conference victory of the season- a 2-1 decision over visiting Iowa. The Buckeyes could not capture two-consecutive wins as the Illini scored two goals in each half to take the 4-0 victory. Amber Barnes (Sr., Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield) tallied six saves in the loss.
In the 2-1 win Friday, Lindsay Eckles (So., Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson) scored the first OSU goal at 16:02. Teammate Sarah Lanham (So., Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) scored what would become the gamewinning goal at 23:24.
Iowa closed the gap with a goal in the 88th minute, but Barnes stopped its offense the rest of the way.
Ohio State will travel to Penn State Friday, Oct. 20, in a 7 p.m. match at State College, Pa.