Ohio State Hosts Michigan Friday and Michigan State Sunday

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s soccer team returns to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for two games this week: 7:30 p.m. Friday against Michigan and 1 p.m. Sunday against Michigan State in a game that will be televised on a delayed basis by the Big Ten Network. The game will be replayed at 8 p.m. Sunday on BTN.

Although just three games into the Big Ten Conference season, the games are crucial for the Buckeyes and their efforts to keep pace with the Big Ten leaders. Ohio State is coming off a pair of road losses last weekend at Northwestern and Wisconsin and carry records of 7-5-0 overall and 1-2-0 in the Big Ten into the games this week.

“This is a big weekend for the team for a number of reasons,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “We underperformed last weekend on the road, and this is the time of the season for the team to connect and click for 90 minutes every game and not just connect for segments of games.

“Soccer is a challenging game. You have to maintain tremendous focus for 45 minutes each half and you can’t have any lapses during that time. This is hard to do for a young team. They tend to labor on a past mistake and in this sport one mistake usually means a second mistake.”

Make no mistake about it: coming off a pair of losses last weekend, Ohio State will be eager and ready to play this weekend at Jesse Owens, where it is 7-0-0 this season.

Ohio State is ranked 9th in the Great Lakes Region by NSCAA/adidas and 15th by Soccer Buzz.

Live stats for both games will be available at www.ohiostatebuckyes.com. Click on the “live stats” link in the upper right corner of the Ohio State women’s soccer home page found at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Additionally, the Michigan State game can be heard via the internet at http://ohiostatesportsradio.com/. Calling the action will be Josh Ellis and Emily Toutkoushian.

Michigan is the last team to beat Ohio State in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, handing the home team a 2-1 overtime loss Oct. 22, 2006. Michigan owns an 11-5-2 all-time lead in the series and has won two consecutive games over Ohio State. The teams have each won three times with one tie in the last seven contests dating back to the 2002 season. Ohio State is just 1-3-1 vs. Michigan in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with the only win coming in the 2004 Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan may be entering the game with a 2-6-3 record and an 0-2-2 mark in the Big Ten, but this team can play. The Wolverines hosted Big Ten leaders 8-1-1 Purdue and 8-1-1 Indiana last weekend and came away with ties in both contests. The Wolverines sent 17 shots toward the Indiana goal and another 16 at the Purdue goal. Some additional notes on 14th-year coach Debbie Rademacher’s 2007 Wolverines:

  • The team averages 15.0 shots per game (T5th in Big Ten) and 0.91 goals per game.
  • Melissa Dobbyn averages 2.60 shots to lead in that category while Amanda Bowery leads with 10 points (4-2-10).
  • Sarah Banco has two goals and five points and Katie Bohard is third on the team with four points (1-2-4).
  • The team leads the Big Ten in yellow cards with 13 and an average of 1.18 per game.
  • Dobbyn scored the game winner five minutes into the first overtime in the 2-1 UM win over Ohio State  last year. Dobbyn also assisted on Kristin Thomas’ tying goal.

The Big Ten Network (BTN) will air the Ohio State vs. Michigan State game on a delayed basis Sunday evening at 8 p.m. This will mark the third BTN broadcast from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The network’s initial live broadcast was the Ohio State men’s soccer game against West Virginia Aug. 31 (a 1-0 OSU win). BTN also broadcast a 4-0 Northwestern win over Ohio State Sept. 23. The Ohio State women appeared on BTN last Sunday for the first time (a 1-0 loss at Wisconsin).

The Buckeyes lead the overall series with Michigan State, 7-6, and have won three of the last four meetings. Ohio State is 3-1 against MSU in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, including a 2-0 win last season. Michigan State’s last win in the series was in 2005, 1-0, in East Lansing. Lara Dickenmann assisted on both of Ohio State’s goals in the win last year with Lisa Collison scoring the first in the 56th minute and Lisa Grubb adding the clincher two minutes later.

Michigan State is 5-6-1 and 0-4 in the Big Ten Conference entering its game against Penn State Friday in State College. The Spartans were 5-2-1 in the non-conference portion of their schedule but have been shut out in each of their first four Big Ten games by Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue and Indiana. A further look at coach Tom Saxton’s Spartans: 

  • Maureen Pawlak is sixth in the Big Ten with 3.08 shots per game and Cara Freeman is 9th (2.67).
  • The team’s leading scorers are Lauren Hill (5-2-12) and Pawlak (4-3-11).
  • The Spartans as a team are 4th in the Big Ten allowing just 0.92 goals per game.

Ohio State started the season with six-consecutive home contests and its resulting 6-0 start represented the first time in the program’s 15-year history that a team has started 6-0. The team added a seventh win at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in its Big Ten opener Sept. 28 against Illinois. 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 (.800). Ohio State has also won eight consecutive matches at JOMS. The team’s last loss at home was to Michigan on Oct. 22, 2006.

The Buckeyes opened the season 6-0-0 for the first time in program history, including wins over Pepperdine, a nationally-ranked San Diego (now 9-1-2) team and 9-3 Wright State, then suffered three defeats on the road before defeating a talented Illinois team in its Big Ten opener.  The team is averaging 14.6 shots (6th in Big Ten) and 1.42 goals (7th) on the season. Defensively, the Buckeyes are 10th in the conference allowing 1.33 goals per game and T2nd in saves (4.50). The Buckeyes have also been called offside 16 more times than any other team in the conference (50; the next closest is 34 by Indiana), including nine times vs. Northwestern.

Coach Lori Walker has been typically starting a lineup comprised of three seniors (M Lara Dickenmann, M Amanda Ball and D Keiana Mitchell), one junior (F Lisa Collison), two sophomores (GK Lauren Robertson and M Ashley Bowyer) and five freshmen (defenders Lauren Hallauer, Lauren Steuer and Lauren Beachy, and forwards Alex Burzynski and Courtney Jenkins). A few more notes on the Buckeye lineup:

  • Herman Trophy and All-American candidate Lara Dickenmann leads the team in virtually all of the offensive categories, including goals (4), points (10), shots (39) and with game-winners (3).
  • Three players have six points: freshman forward Alex Burzynski with three goals; and junior forward Lisa Collison and sophomore midfielder Ashley Bowyer with two goals and two assists apiece.  
  • Lauren Hallauer and Lauren Steuer are manning the all-important central defender positions for the Buckeyes. Hallauer has started all 12 games and Steuer, a red-shirt freshman, has started 11.
  • A third freshman is contributing along the back line, Lauren Beachy, who has been starting in place of senior Carla Arbulu, who is currently unavailable.
  • Goalkeeper Lauren Robertson has played every minute this season and has four shutouts to go along with an average of 4.42 saves per game. Robertson needs just two more shutouts to crack Ohio State’s single-season Top 5.

Lisa Collison scored the game-winning goal 107 minutes into the match off an assist from Lara Dickenmann to give Ohio State a 2-1 win over Illinois in its Big Ten opener. It was a huge win for the Buckeyes, who were coming off three consecutive losses on the road. Sophomore Ashley Bowyer started the team’s first scoring play by intercepting a ball at midfield and calmly sending a clean through pass to the 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. Goalkeeper Robinson was superb with five saves. Some additional news, notes and good stuff on the 2007 Buckeyes:

  • 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 record for career assists page in the Ohio State media guide 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 State with 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.
  • 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 (Wright State) and Collison (Illinois) 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.
  • Ohio State’s win over San Diego was the 150th in 15 years of women’s soccer at OSU.

Michigan State game announcer Lisa Grubb was 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 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 116-87-15 at Ohio State and 129-110-16 all-time. She was head coach at Kansas for two seasons prior to coming to Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are a young team with only nine seniors and juniors and 22 sophomores and freshman. Seven of those sophomores and freshmen are typically in the starting lineup and 10 play significant minutes. This young team is finding out just how tough it is to win on the road. Ohio State is 0-5 away from Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season and has been outscored, 12-1.

The Buckeyes have turned around one undesirable trend this season. The team has reversed its 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:

  • 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 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.

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 12 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.

Ohio State will host all three teams that were ranked ahead of it in the Big Ten preseason poll. In addition to hosting Illinois Sept. 28, Ohio State will host Purdue Oct. 28 and the regular-season ending Penn State contest is set for Nov. 2. Ohio State also hosts 9-1-2 Indiana Oct. 26.

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 153-125-18.