Oct. 29, 2003
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 16/19 Ohio State women's soccer team (11-3-3, 4-3-3) looks to close out the 2003 season unbeaten in non-conference play as the Buckeyes travel to in-state rival Bowling Green for a 2:30 p.m. match Friday. The contest serves as the final warmup before the Buckeyes enter postseason play next Thursday vs. Michigan in the opening round of the 2003 Big Ten Tournament.
LAST WEEK: BUCKEYES BATTLE PENN STATE, BLANK LOYOLA
The Buckeyes split a pair of matches last week as they first welcomed No. 5 Penn State to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Friday night and stifled the Big Ten's leading offense for 86 minutes of a scorelss tie before Penn State struck with a late goal to claim the 1-0 win.
Ohio State completed the extended weekend Monday at Loyola-Chicago, where the Buckeyes posted their eighth shutout of the season with a 4-0 triumph. Junior Liz Mumley led the way with a goal and an assist, while leading scored Colleen Hoban burried her seventh goal of the season.
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 17 matches in program history at 11-3-3, a .736 winning percentage.
The previous best start to a season came in 1996 when the Buckeyes began the year with 12 wins opposed to five losses, which served as a .706 win percentage.
BUCKEYES AMONG NATIONAL TOP 25
Ohio State remained at No. 16 in this week's Soccerbuzz.com poll after the loss to Penn State and the victory over Loyola. The Buckeyes remained in the NSCAA/addidas poll at No.19. Soccertimes.com also lists OSU at No. 19.
There was no change for the Buckeyes in eith er regional poll this week. They remained at No. 3 in both respective polls behind No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Illinois.
The Buckeyes have enjoyed marked success when stepping outside the Big Ten conference in 2003 as they have posted an unblemised 7-0 mark against non-conference foes.
Included in the seven victories are five shutouts, featuring a 1-0 win over then-No. 6 Virginia in Columbus and a 2-0 victory at perrenial Conference USA power Cincinnati.
Most recently, Ohio State traveled to Loyola-Chicago and blanked the Ramblers by a 4-0 count, which upped the OSU scoring advantage in non-conference matches to 25-2.
BUCKEYES VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
Despite tight losses to No. 5 Penn State Oct. 24 and 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.
Overall, the Buckeyes boast a 4-3 record in their last seven meetings with ranked teams.
So far this season the Buckeye defense has posted the best goals against average by an Ohio State team in program history. OSU boasts an impressive 0.56 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 10 goals in 16 matches.
The Ohio State backline, featuring juniors Erica Nollen and Paige Harrison, and freshmen Melissa Miller and Emily Francis, has allowed just 10 goals in 192 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 135-92 advantage in shots on goal.
Overall, the Ohio State defense has allowed just 0.56 goals per game, as 16 of their 17 opponents have been held to no more than one goal in a single contest.
ALL-TIME TEAM SHUTOUT MARK WITHIN REACH OF 2003 SQUAD
Ohio State posted its eighth shutout this season in the 4-0 win at Loyola-Chicago last Monday. The eight shutouts are just one blanking shy of the program's all-time mark of nine shutouts set in 1998.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
The Ohio State attack have been a balanced affair this season as 17 Buckeyes have posted at least one point in 2003, which includes five individuals - Colleen Hoban (17), Kathy Fulk (12), Heather Miller (11), Emily Gilbert (11) and Danielle Dietrich (10) - who all have notched double figures in points.
Also worthy of note is the distribution of shots across the Buckeye attack as Dietrich and Miller lead the squad with 34 and are followed closely by Hoban with 33 strikes and Fulk with 32. Gilbert and Mumley are not far off with 25 and 23 shots, respectively.
The Ohio State women's soccer team, playing in its first game against a MAC opponent this season will travel to Bowling Green Friday to meet the Falcons.
Bowling Green enters the contest boasting a 7-10-1 record which includes a 5-5-1 record in conference play.
Bowling Green is lead by sophomore Samatha Meister. Meister leads the Falcons with eight goals, four assists and 20 points. This past Sunday against Marshall, Meister netted the game-winning goal in overtime.
In goal for the Falcons is sophomore Ali Shingler, who has tallied 83 saves and a goals against average of 2.08.
Andy Richards is in his fourth season as the head coach for Bowling Green. Richards has compiled a 36-38-6 record which includes one trip to the MAC championship game in 2000 and three seasons of 10 or more wins.
LAST MEETING: BUCKEYES FALL TO BOWLING GREEN AT HOME
The last meeting between Bowling Green and Ohio State served as the first night game played at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sept. 18, 2001. The Buckeyes slipped to 3-2 on the year after being blanked by the Falcons 2-0.
OSU dominated the shot column in the first half taking 11 shots to BGSU's two. However, the Falcons capitalized on one of their opportunities with less than three minutes remaining. Jill Conover drove to the left side of Buckeye goalkeeper Jen Heaney and tried to make a low pass to the center of the box. The pass skipped past Heaney to a waiting Tracy Gleixer who buried a shot into the open net to give the Falcons a 1-0 halftime lead.
The second half was more of the same story for the Buckeyes as they outshot their instate rivals, 10-4. Again, BGSU found a fortunate bounce inside the box when Kristy Coppes headed the ball into the net at 57:46. Katie Piening took a free kick just inside the Falcons' offensive zone and the ball first found the head of Beth Wechsler before Coppes put BGSU ahead, 2-0. OSU nearly connected on a few lucky bounces as well. In the game, five Buckeye shots hit the crossbar and deflected out of play.
Ohio State's overall record against Bowling Green is 2-1. The Buckeyes are 1-1 at home and are 1-0 in Bowling Green.
SUCCESS WHEN STRIKING EARLY
This season Ohio State owns an 11-0-1 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 21 of 22 games when scoring first.
The Buckeyes have enjoyed a lead at halftime in nine of the 17 contests this season and have walked away with a win on eight occasions. The Iowa contest once again serves as the only flaw on Ohio State's 8-0-1 ledger when leading at the half.
10-WIN PLATEAU REACHED AGAIN
Ohio State's 11-3-3 mark serves as the sixth time in 10 seasons the Buckeyes have recorded double digits in victories, which includes four of the last five seasons and the fifth in head coach Lori Walker's seven-year tenure at Ohio State.
The previous OSU squads to post at least 10 wins came first in 1996 (14-7) and was followed in 1998 (13-8-1), 1999 (12-6-2), 2001 (10-9-1) and last season with a 10-11-1 mark. Ohio State has narrowly missed 10-win seasons on three occasion, collecting nine wins in each of the 1994, 1996 and 1997 campaigns.
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 fourth in the Big Ten in goals allowed (10) and second as of Monday's release in goals against average (0.62) and are currently second in corner kicks with 107. They also are third in the Big Ten in shots with 249 and tied for third in goals allowed with eight in conference matches only.
Junior Paige Harrison is third in the conference in assists per game with 0.58, while sophomore Danielle Dietrich's three assists is good enough for third among the Big Ten in conference play only.
On the season, the Buckeyes hold a 34-10 advantage in goals. The 24-goal margin is OSU's largest this season. Previously, OSU held an 21-goal advantage through 15 games.
Included in Ohio State's offensive dominance is an 40-12 advantage in assists.
ASSISTS RECORD BELONGS TO 2003
With its 40 assists as a team in 2003, the Buckeyes eclipsed the former Ohio State all-time season high for assist (38) in 1996.
The Buckeyes opened the 2003 season with wins in each of its first five matches, which equalled OSU's longest all-time win streak set by the 1996 and 1998 squads.
Ohio State owns an astounding 110-57 ledger in corner kicks through 17 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 708 minutes and has posted a 4-2-1 record, including a pair of shutouts. Sinkway has posted a sparkling GAA of 0.51. She also leads her teammates with 39 saves and a save percentage of .907.
Haynam has started 11 of the 17 contests played this season and posts a 0.68 GAA with 37 saves and an .881 save percentage, while collecting four wins vs. one loss 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.
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 15 goals in the first half and 18 in the second period to combine for all but one of its 34 goals this season.
Ohio State has posted near-identical first and second half combined figures in several other categories, as the Buckeyes have totaled 130 of their 261 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 49 in the first stanza and 59 in the second period.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
This season the Buckeyes have enjoyed a decided advantage inside the confines of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. With the latest wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota the Buckeyes remained unbeaten, claiming wins No. 6 and 7 at home against two ties heading into a match with No. 5 Penn State Oct. 24.
The Buckeyes dropped their first home contest to the Nittany Lions 1-0, setting the final home record at program best 7-1-2 for the season.
The Buckeyes have dominated the Jesse Owens Stadium scoreboard, holding a 21-5 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 0.50 goals against average in leading Ohio State to a 3-1-2 mark in conference home games.
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 in those matches. Thus far in 2003, Ohio State is 1-0-3, upping its all-time record in overtime matches to 13-8-12.
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 head to into postseason play and Madison, Wis. as the defending Big Ten tournament champions. The fifth-seed Buckeyes are slated for a 4:30 p.m. match against the No. 4 seed Michigan Thursday.
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