No. 21/25 Ohio State Women's Soccer Welcomes Wisconsin and Minnesota

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

Oct. 14, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 21/25 Ohio State women's soccer team (8-2-3, 2-2-3) returns to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this week after suffering its first losing weekend series this season. After dropping a 2-0 contest at Illinois and matching Northwestern in a 1-1 stalemate Sunday, the Buckeyes look to regroup in a rematch with fellow 2002 Big Ten Tournament finalist Wisconsin Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and will honor its seniors Sunday in a 2 p.m. match with Minnesota.

The Buckeyes struggled in last weekend's matches, losing 2-0 to Illinois and tying Northwestern 1-1.

The Illini scored two goals in the first 16 minutes of play and made them stand, downing Ohio State by a 2-0 final count.

In Sunday's contest against Northwestern, the Buckeyes fell behind early before rallying late to force overtime.

The Buckeyes came out firing in the second half as Heather Miller nailed a shot to the right of goalkeeper Whitney Jones into the net to tie the score at 1-1.

Ohio State has celebrated its 10th anniversary season in grand fashion as the Buckeyes have posted their second best record through 13 matches in program history at 8-2-3, a .731 winning percentage.

The best start to a season came in 1996 when the Buckeyes began the year with 10 wins opposed to three losses, which served as a .769 win percentage. BUCKEYES AMONG NATIONAL TOP 25
Ohio State dropped in both polls this week after the weekend loss to Illinois and the tie against Northwestern. In the poll Ohio State dropped to No. 21 and in the NSCAA/addidas poll the Buckeyes fell to No. 25.

The Buckeyes have dropped two spots in the Great Lakes regional poll to No. 4 behind Notre Dame and conference rivals Purdue and Illinois.

The Buckeyes also dropped in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional poll to No. 4 also behind Notre Dame, Purdue and Illinois.

Last Friday's contest with 23rd-ranked Illinois marked Ohio State's third this season vs. a ranked foe. Despite the loss to Illinois, the Buckeyes have had success in matches with ranked opponents so far in 2003. The Buckeyes downed then-No. 6 Virginia Sept. 5 by a 1-0 score and conquered Purdue for the fifth straight meeting by a 2-1 count in West Lafayette, Ind.

The Buckeyes boast a 4-2 record in their last six meetings with ranked teams.

Ohio State welcomes Big Ten rival Wisconsin to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Friday night. The Badgers are coming off an unbeaten weekend picking up victories against Northwestern and Iowa to improve its record to 7-6-1 which includes a 3-4 Big Ten tally.

The Badgers are led by senior midfieler Jenny Kundert. Kundert has tallied 15 points this season, which includes six goals and three assists. She also netted the game-winning goal against Northwestern this past Friday. Kundert was a first team All-Big Ten selection and a NSCAA/Great Lakes region second team pick last season.

In goal for the Badgers is freshman Stephanie Szczechowski. In just her first season, Szczechowski has tallied seven wins, 1039 minutes, 35 saves and a goals against average of 1.30. She also has posted two shutouts.

The head coach of the Badgers is Dean Duerst. Duerst is in his 10th season at the helm of Wisconsin. He has led the Badgers to five NCAA tournament appearances, one Big Ten regular-season title and one Big Ten tournament championship. Duerst has been associated with Wisconsin his entire career, first as a player from 1981-83, assistant coach from 1987-93 and then head coach from 1994-present.

Last season Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 1-0 in regular season play.

Leading the way for Ohio State in the first match was Lisa Grubb who scored the game-winning and lone goal of the match in the 14th minute of play with an unassisted shot that sailed just over the reach of Wisconsin goaltender Kelly Conway.

Recording the win for the Buckeyes was goalkeeper Emily Haynam, who tallied five saves in the shutout victory.

In last season's tournament final Ohio State came away with a 2-1 victory to claim their first ever tournament championship. The Buckeyes were led by Lindsay Eckles who netted a perfectly placed corner kick from Jen Miller for a 1-0 advantage and Emily Gilbert, who struck the unassisted game-winner in the 67th minute.

Ohio State trails Wisconsin in the overall series 4-6-2. Both teams are even in Columbus at 1-1-2. The Buckeyes are 1-5 in Madison and hold a 2-0 tally on neutral turf.

Minnesota comes to Columbus sporting a 5-6-2 record and a Big Ten mark of 2-4-1. This past weekend Minnesota was downed by No. 12 Colorado 6-0 Friday and tied Iowa 2-2 Sunday.

Leading the way for the Golden Gophers is freshman Haley Lentsch. Lentsch has started every game this season and has five goals, three assists and 13 points. Lentsch also has tallied two game-winning goals this season coming against Florida Atlantic and Northwestern.

Goalkeeping duties belong to sophomore Karli Kopietz. Kopietz, has started 12 games this season and garners 65 saves and a goals against average of 2.19. Kopietz also holds three shutouts this season.

Ohio State and Minnesota played into double overtime last season with Ohio State grabbing the victory in the 107th minute of play. Jen Miller scored the winning goal, when she fired a free kick from the middle and beat Gopher goalie Marni Prall to the high side.

Goalkeeper Emily Haynam recorded her second shutout of the season, making two saves in the contest en route to winning Big Ten defensive player of the week honors.

Ohio State is 3-8-1 going into Friday's match against Minnesota. In Columbus, Ohio State is 1-2-1 against the Golden Gophers and 2-4 in St.Paul, Minn. The Buckeyes are 0-2 on neutral turf against Minnesota.

Five separate Buckeyes have netted two goals in a match this season. The latest, Danielle Dietrich, led the Buckeyes to a 2-1 win over Purdue on Sept. 28.

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.

Ohio State continues to stand near the top of some of the Big Ten statistics. The Buckeyes are currently second in corner kicks with 41. They are fifth in the Big Ten in both shots with 90 and goals allowed with seven. The Buckeyes also hold the fifth spot in goals allowed per game with 1.00.

Junior Paige Harrison is the conference leader in assists with 0.50 per game. Sophomore Danielle Dietrich is ranked seventh in total shots with 20 and seventh in shots per game with 2.86. Freshman Staci Sinkway's 0.93 goals against average is good enough for fifth among Big Ten goalkeepers.

On the season, the Buckeyes hold a 27-9 advantage in goals. The 18-goal margin is OSU's second largest margin this season, previously OSU held a 20-goal advantage through 11 games.

Included in Ohio State's offensive dominance is an 32-11 advantage in assists.

Ohio State owns an astounding 95-42 ledger in corner kicks through 13 games this season, highlighted by two consecutive matches - Iowa and Youngstown State - where the Buckeyes shutout the Hawkeyes and Penguins in the corner kick department. In the two matches, the Buckeyes held a 21-0 advantage.

Most recently, Ohio State held Illinois and Northwestern to seven corner kicks over the past weekend.

Ohio State's goal box has been occupied by a trio of solid goalkeepers in 2003. Juniors Jen Heaney and Emily Haynam and freshman Staci Sinkway all have shared the net in a majority of the matches this season.

Leading the way is Sinkway who has logged over 567 minutes and has posted a 2-2-1 record, including a shutout. Sinkway has posted a sparkling GAA of 0.63. She also leads her teammates with 29 saves and a save percentage of .879.

Haynam has started eight of the 13 contests played this season and posts a 0.82 GAA with 23 saves and a .852 save percentage, while collecting three wins vs. no losses and two ties.

Heaney, who has started two games this season, has claimed three victories and has allowed zero goals and posts a stellar 0.00 GAA. Heaney also has seen action in the Buckeye frontline.

The Buckeyes have recorded five shutouts in their 13 matches in 2003. The Ohio State backline, featuring juniors Erica Nollen and Paige Harrison, sophomore Kristin Sawchak, and freshman Melissa Miller and Emily Francis, has allowed just nine goals in 139 opponent shots, including just one shot in the win over Youngstown State.

Ohio State also enjoys a 107-67 advantage in shots on goal.

Overall, the Ohio State defense has allowed just 0.66 goals per game, as 12 of their 13 opponents have been held to no more than one goal in a single contest.

Ohio State has proven to spread its offensive production over both the first and second halves of games this season, as the Buckeye have posted 12 goals in the first half and 15 in the second period for its season total of 27.

Ohio State has posted near-identical first and second half combined figures in several other categories, as the Buckeyes have totaled 112 of their 213 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 45 in the first stanza and 48 in the second period.

Ohio State freshman goalkeeper Staci Sinkway earned Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 6 following her first career shutout in her initial game in the Buckeye starting lineup. The Mission Viejo, Calif. native helped Ohio State to a 1-0 win over Michigan State Sunday. Sinkway, who also blanked Michigan for more than 73 minutes in Friday's 1-1 tie with the Wolverines, collected four saves in two games.

Sinkway, who has seen action in 10 of the 13 matches this year, leads the Ohio State squad with 567 minutes in net and 29 saves, while also posting a sparkling 0.63 goals against average.

Ohio State junior forward Lisa Grubb was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1, as she recorded two goals and one assist in OSU's 4-1 season opening win over Indiana State.

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.

Ohio State's noted academic success reaches deep into head coach Lori Walker's tenure, as she has mentored 36 student-athletes to Academic All-Big Ten selections, including a program-best 11 honorees in 2002. The program also boasts 62 OSU Scholar-Athlete selections and the collegiate academic award in 2002.

Ohio State boasts an 8-4-1 mark in its last 13 games played outside the confines of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, dating back to a 1-0 win at Wisconsin on Oct. 18 of 2002. The record includes four neutral matches, including the three wins at the Big Ten tournament and the first-round loss in the NCAA tournament.

The Buckeyes remain at home to close a three-game stand against rival Penn State, 7:30 p.m. Friday night Oct. 25 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.