No. 19/19 Ohio State Wraps Up Road Swing at Illinois, Returns Home to Face Purdue
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 19th-ranked Ohio State women's soccer team looks to end their three-game road trip with a win when it travels to Champaign to take on Illinois at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Buckeyes will then return to Columbus to host Purdue at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Buckeyes came within 18 seconds of getting a sweep last weekend. Wisconsin scored in the final minute of regulation to earn a 1-1 draw Friday night before Ohio State bounced back to defeat Minnesota 1-0 Sunday.
SCOUTING THE ILLINI
Led by eighth-year head coach Janet Rayfield, the Illini have posted a 6-5-3 record, 1-2-2 in the Big Ten. Junior forward Jordan Hilbrands leads the Illini with six goals in 2009.
The all-time series between the two schools is knotted at 6-6-0 with the Illini winning the 2008 matchup, 2-0, in Champaign.
SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS
The Boilermakers have posted an 8-3-3 record, 3-1-2 in the conference heading into the weekend. Senior forward Jessica Okoroafo leads Purdue with six goals scored. Robert Klatte is in his 12th season at the helm of the Purdue program.
The series with the Boilermakers is also tied at 8-8-1 with Purdue winning the last seven matchups.
11 AT HOME...AND ADMISSION IS FREE
The Buckeyes' schedule includes two remaining matches at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. New for 2009: admission to all Ohio State home soccer matches is free to all.
THE COACHING STAFF
Ohio State is under the direction of 13th-year head coach Lori Walker. She has guided the team to four NCAA tournament berths (2002-03-04-07) as well as two Big Ten tournament championships (2002 and 2004). Greg Miller is in his second season as associate head coach and ninth overall with the Buckeyes. The 2009 season marks the second season for assistant coach Glen Tourville.
TAKING THEIR SHOTS
Ohio State has outshot its opponents 230-103 overall and 95-33 on goal. The Buckeyes have been outshot in just one game this year, a scoreless tie at West Virginia.
There also has been a huge disparity on corner kicks as the Buckeyes hold a 106-38 advantage over their opponents in that category.
The Buckeyes' 11-2-2 start marks the marks the best start in school history, just ahead of the 2003 and 2004 teams which started out 10-2-3 after their first 15 games. That 2003 team finished the season with a 13-5-3 record, advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament and the 2004 squad finished 19-4-3 before falling to UCLA in the NCAA Round of 16.
The Buckeyes are tied for eighth in the NCAA in shutout percentage after posting clean sheets against 10 of their first 15 opponents. Ohio State has trailed in fewer than 131 of 1,399 minutes played.
SHUTTING THEM DOWN
Goalkeeper Lauren "Taz" Robertson is third in the Big Ten and 21st nationally with a 0.58 goals-against average. The senior co-captain and Ohio State career shutout leader with 27 has 10 clean sheets in 15 games in 2009, setting the single-season school record.
Robertson earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for her efforts last week. She has won the award three times in 2009 and eight times in her career.
LAUREN TO LAUREN
After Lauren Granberg assisted on Lauren Steuer's game-winner Oct. 9 against Iowa, the junior returned the favor, playing a perfect corner kick on Granberg's game-winning header with 49 seconds remaining Oct. 11 against Northwestern.
For her efforts against Iowa and Northwestern, Steuer was named a collegesoccer360.com Primetime Performer of the Week.
CONTINUING WHERE SHE LEFT OFF
Forwards Paige Maxwell and Lauren Granberg lead the team with five goals each in 2009. Maxwell notched her second career hat trick in Ohio State's 6-0 win over Youngstown State. She is just the second Buckeye in history to record multiple hat tricks.
Freshman forward Lauren Granberg has tallied five points over her last five games and now leads the team with 11 points in 2009.
In all, freshmen or sophomores have accounted for 19 of the 28 Buckeye goals this season and six of the 10 game-winning goals.
DISHING IT OUT
Juniors Lauren Beachy and Lauren Steuer are tied for sixth in the Big Ten with four assists.
Eighteen Buckeyes have recorded at least one point in 2009. Only the 2004 team has had more Buckeyes contribute offensively with 19.
MOVING ON UP
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 19 in both the Top 25 of the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America rankings. It marks the sixth-consecutive week Ohio State has been ranked after it jumped all the way up to No. 15 two weeks ago.
The No. 15 ranking was the highest for the Buckeyes since Sept. 4, 2005.
BUCKEYES IN THE RPI
In the second Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings published by the NCAA Oct. 19, Ohio State moved up to 18th nationally and second in the Big Ten, one spot behind Penn State. The RPI will be released every two weeks for the remainder of the season.
AT HOME AT JESSE OWENS
Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium has proved to be a more than advantageous home for the Buckeyes in its 10 years of existence. Consider:
- The home team is 72-30-9 all-time.
UP NEXT: INDIANA
After the pair of games this weekend, the Buckeyes wrap up their home slate against Indiana at 1 p.m. Nov. 1 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.