Oct. 21, 2003
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Columbus, Ohio - The No. 16/21 Ohio State women's soccer team (10-2-3, 4-2-3) looks to close out the 2003 home schedule unbeaten as it plays host to No. 5/12 Penn State Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes will seek their first unbeaten record at home in program history, while also attempting to claim a second straight win over the Nittany Lions in Columbus.
The Buckeyes resume play Monday afternoon with a trip to Chicago for a bout with the Loyola Ramblers. The match is set for a 2 p.m. kickoff (EST).
LAST WEEK: OSU POSTS TWO SHUTOUTS IN WEEKEND SWEEP
Ohio State claimed its sixth and seventh shutouts of the 2003 season with a 2-0 win Friday over Wisconsin and a 1-0 overtime victory vs. Minnesota Sunday. Both contests were played at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, as OSU upped its record to 7-0-2 at home en route to posting its sixth season with at least 10 victories.
The Buckeyes used first and second half tallies to top the Badgers Friday night. Freshman Melissa Miller had a hand in both goals as she struck for her second score of the year in the first half and assisted on a Colleen Hoban goal in the second.
Ohio State continued its defensive dominance Sunday, shutting out the Golden Gophers, allowing just one shot on goal and zero corner kicks. Minnesota extended the Buckeyes to overtime, where junior Kathy Fulk took a feed from Hoban inside the 6-yard box and buried the game-winner in the 96th minute.
BUCKEYES OFF TO BEST START IN PROGRAM HISTORY
Ohio State has celebrated its 10th anniversary season in grand fashion as the Buckeyes have posted their best record through 15 matches in program history at 10-2-3, a .766 winning percentage.
The previous best start to a season came in 1996 when the Buckeyes began the year with 11 wins opposed to four losses, which served as a .733 win percentage.
Melissa Miller NAMED BIG TEN CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Melissa Miller was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week Monday after helping the 16th -ranked Buckeyes remain unbeaten at home with shutout wins over Wisconsin, 2-0, and Minnesota, 1-0.
Miller, who joins fellow Buckeye freshman Staci Sinkway (Oct. 6) and junior Lisa Grubb (Sept. 5) as conference weekly honorees, led the OSU attack in Friday's win over Wisconsin with a game-winning goal in the first half on a 35-yard blast from the right side that sailed into the Badger net. Miller later assisted on Ohio State's second goal of the night. The goal served as Miller's second on the season, while her assist was the first of her OSU career.
Sunday, she helped the Ohio State defensive unit post its seventh shutout of the season as Miller and company held the Golden Gophers to just one shot on goal and zero corner kick opportunities.
BUCKEYES AMONG NATIONAL TOP 25
Ohio State jumps from No. 21 to No. 16 in this week's Soccerbuzz.com poll after a weekend sweep. The Buckeyes also find themselves climbing from No. 25 to No. 21 in the latest NSCAA/addidas poll. Soccertimes.com lists OSU at No. 20.
The Buckeyes have moved up one spot to the No. 3 position in the Soccerbuzz.com Great Lakes Region standings behind Notre Dame and conference rival Illinois.
The Buckeyes also moved up in the NSCAA Great Lakes Regional poll to the No. 3 slot also following Notre Dame and Illinois.
BUCKEYES VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
Despite a loss to No. 23 Illinois on Oct. 10, 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 at home 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.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
This season the Buckeyes have enjoyed a decided advantage inside the confines of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the wins last week over Wisconsin and Minnesota the Buckeyes remained unbeaten, claiming wins No. 6 and 7 at home against two ties.
The Buckeyes have dominated the Jesse Owens Stadium scoreboard, holding a 21-4 advantage in goals, while also dominating the corner kick department by an astounding 107-43 ledger. Included in the corner kick advantage are three contests - Youngstown State, Iowa and Minnesota - where the Buckeyes have held their opponents to zero corner kick opportunities.
The OSU defense has thrived when protecting its goal at JOMS as the unit boasts an 0.44 goals against average in leading Ohio State to a 3-0-2 mark in conference home games.
So far this season the Buckeye defense has posted the best goals against average by an Ohio State team in program history. OSU boast an impressive 0.57 GAA, which bests the previous mark set by the 1998 team that allowed just 0.86 goals per game in 22 contests that season.
The Buckeyes are on pace to shatter the old mark of 19 goals allowed in a season by the 1996 and 1998 teams, as the Buckeyes have allowed just nine goals in 15 matches, which projects to less than 11 goals in Ohio State's 17 regular season matches.
The Ohio State backline, featuring juniors Erica Nollen and Paige Harrison, sophomore Kristin Sawchak, and freshmen Melissa Miller and Emily Francis, has allowed just nine goals in 155 opponent shots, including just one shot in the win over Youngstown State and a single shot on goal from Minnesota.
Ohio State also enjoys a 120-71 advantage in shots on goal.
Overall, the Ohio State defense has allowed just 0.60 goals per game, as 14 of their 15 opponents have been held to no more than one goal in a single contest.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Penn State comes into Columbus on Friday night having already claimed the Big Ten regular season title with their 5-0 victory against Wisconsin this past Sunday.
The Nittany Lions are led by two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the week Tiffany Weimer. Weimer, a sophomore forward, has netted 13 goals, six assists and 32 points this season. She also has tallied four game-winning goals on the year. Last season, Weimer was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year as well as a Big Ten All-Freshman team selection.
The goalkeeper for the Nittany Lions is sophomore Amanda Brown. Brown has tallied 28 saves, a 1.00 GAA, eight wins, and seven shutouts. Against Wisconsin this past Sunday, Brown tallied her fifth blanking of the Big Ten season.
Paula Wilkins is in her third season as the head coach for Penn State. Wilkins has a 50-10-4 record at Penn State which includes finishing last year as the regular season conference champions.
Prior to becoming head coach in 2001, Wilkins was the top assistant for the Nittany Lions for six seasons.
LAST SEASON: BUCKEYES FALL IN STATE COLLEGE
Ohio State fell to Penn State 4-2 in State College last season. Ohio State played close in the first half tying the game at 1-1, on a Lindsay Eckles goal but they were unable to keep up with Penn State's high powered offense that took a 3-1 lead in the 60th minute of play. Ohio State would pull within one goal when Jen Miller struck from 30 yards out to make the score 3-2. Penn State, however, would make it a 4-2 contest on a Christie Welsh goal in the 82nd minute.
Ohio State's overall record against Penn State is 3-8. The Buckeyes are 3-1 at home against the Nittany Lions and 0-5 at Penn State. Ohio State is 0-2 on neutral turf in the series.
A LOOK AT LOYOLA
The Loyola Ramblers will meet the Buckeyes on Monday for the first time. The Ramblers hold a 6-8 record with a 1-4 Horizon League mark.
The Ramblers are led by freshman forward Mary Dale who has tallied six goals and 13 points. Dale also garners three game-winning goals.
The Ramblers are led by ninth year head coach Brendan Eitz. Eitz was named head coach in 1995 and has coached 12 all-league players, including four first-team selections. Among other accolades, Eitz's squad won the 1998 Midwestern Collegiate Conference title.
Eitz is a 1994 graduate of Loyola.
BUCKEYES-RAMBLERS FIRST MEETING
Monday's match against Loyola will mark the first meeting between the two teams.
Ohio State already has seen action against two other teams from the Horizon League this season. The Buckeyes beat Youngstown State 7-0 on Sept. 21 and topped Wright State 4-0 on Aug. 29.
OVERTIME OVER AND OVER AGAIN
The Buckeyes have played into overtime on four occasions this season, prevailing over Minnesota last week 1-0 in single overtime, while matching Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern to double-overtime draws. The four extra session matches are the most in a single season for Ohio State since the 1994 campaign when the Buckeyes extended five matches into extra frames.
The 1994 team posted a 1-2-2 mark on those matches. Thus far in 2003, Ohio State is 1-0-3, upping its all-time record in overtime matches to 13-8-12.
SUCCESS WHEN STRIKING EARLY
This season Ohio State owns a 10-1 record when scoring the first goal of a match. The only blemish occurred when Iowa tied the Buckeyes late in the second half Sept. 19 for a 1-1 stalemate. Last season, the Buckeyes boasted a perfect 10-0 mark when scoring first. Over the last two seasons, Ohio State has won 20 of 21 games when scoring first.
The Buckeyes have enjoyed a lead at halftime in eight of the 15 contests this season and have walked away with a win in seven occasions. The Iowa contest once again serves as the only flaw on Ohio State's 7-0-1 ledger when leading at the half.
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 the 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 many Big Ten statistical categories. The Buckeyes are atop the Big Ten in goals allowed (nine) and goals against average (0.60) and are currently second in corner kicks with 107. They also are second in the Big Ten in shots with 244 and tied for third in goals allowed with seven. The Buckeyes also are tied for third in goals allowed per game with 0.78.
Junior Paige Harrison leads the conference in assists per game with 0.58, while freshman Staci Sinkway's 0.82 goals against average is good enough for fourth among Big Ten goalkeepers in conference play only.
On the season, the Buckeyes hold a 30-9 advantage in goals. The 21-goal margin is OSU's largest margin this season, previously OSU held an 18-goal advantage through 12 games.
Included in Ohio State's offensive dominance is an 36-11 advantage in assists.
Ohio State owns an astounding 107-43 ledger in corner kicks through 15 games this season, highlighted by three matches - Iowa, Youngstown State and Minnesota - where the Buckeyes shutout the Hawkeyes, Penguins and Golden Gophers in the corner kick department. In those three matches, the Buckeyes held a 30-0 advantage.
KEEPER BY COMMITTEE
Ohio State's goal box has been occupied by a trio of solid keepers 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 618 minutes and has posted a 3-2-1 record, including a shutout. Sinkway has posted a sparkling GAA of 0.58. She also leads her teammates with 29 saves and a save percentage of .879.
Haynam has started 10 of the 15 contests played this season and posts a 0.63 GAA with 27 saves and a .871 save percentage, while collecting four 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.
BUCKEYES PLAY FULL 90
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 13 goals in the first half and 16 in the second period to combine for all but one of its 30 goals this season.
Ohio State has posted near-identical first and second half combined figures in several other categories, as the Buckeyes have totaled 122 of their 244 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 48 in the first stanza and 57 in the second period.
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 will wrap up its regular season at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 against the Bowling Green Falcons in Bowling Green, Ohio.