Ohio State Hosts No. 7 Penn State Friday in Women's Soccer Senior Night

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

COLUMBUS, Ohio Friday will be a night to honor the seniors as the Ohio State women’s soccer team hosts Penn State at 7:30 p.m. in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in the final home match of the season for the Buckeyes.

The seniors, who helped Ohio State to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and have been on a mission to get back to the NCAA championships this season, include: tri-captains Amanda Ball, Keiana Mitchell and Lara Dickenmann and Carla Arbulu, Kate Linehan and Alyx Portia.

The on-field action will be an opportunity for the Buckeyes to try and gather momentum heading into next week’s Big Ten Conference Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn., and to hinder a 10th-consecutive Big Ten Conference title by Penn State, under the direction of first-year coach Erica Walsh.

A win over talented, tough and nationally ranked (No. 7 by NSCAA/adidas) Penn State would certainly help the 11-7-0 Buckeyes’ NCAA resume. A win could also boost Ohio State, 5-4-0 in the Big Ten, into fourth in the Big Ten standings.

“We always play well against Penn State and we like to play Penn State,” Lori Walker, Ohio State coach, said. “They are an extremely talented team and will be coming into Jesse Owens with a Big Ten championship in their reach. We will have to be at the top of our game. We’re at home and we’ll be ready to play.” 

2007 Big Ten Standings:

Team    W- L- T Pts Pct.   Overall
PSU.................  8- 1- 0  24  .889   14- 3- 1 
PUR.................  7- 1- 1  22  .833   15- 2- 2 
ILL.................  6- 3- 1  19  .650   11- 5- 1 
IND.................  5- 3- 1  16  .611   12- 4- 2 
OSU.................  5- 4- 0  15  .556   11- 7- 0 
MINN................  5- 4- 0  15  .556    9- 7- 1 
NU..................  3- 4- 2  11  .444    8- 6- 4 
IOWA................  3- 6- 0   9  .333    7- 7- 4 
MICH................  1- 5- 3   6  .278    3- 9- 5 
WIS.................  2- 7- 0   6  .222    6-10- 1 
MSU.................  1- 8- 0   3  .111    7-10- 1 

The game can be heard via the internet on Ohio State’s student ratio station found at http://ohiostatesportsradio.com/. The game can also be viewed via live stats. Click on the “live stats” link in the upper right corner of the women’s soccer home page found at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

Penn State is ranked seventh nationally by NSCAA/adidas and ninth by Soccer Buzz Magazine. The Nittany Lions are the top team in the Great Lakes Region according to NSCAA/adidas. Ohio State is ranked 6th in the Great Lakes Region by Soccer Buzz Magazine and eighth by NSCAA/adidas.

No team in the Big Ten has had much success against Penn State. Ohio State has had the most wins though. Ohio State’s 4-12-0 record vs. the Nittany Lions is one more win than what Michigan has earned and two more than any other school. The Buckeyes’ wins over Penn State have come in 2004, 2001, 1997 and 1994. Last year, Penn State won, 1-0, in State College. Penn State won, 1-0, two years ago in its last visit to JOMS. Ohio State’s win in ’04 came in the Big Ten Tournament at JOMS, 2-0.

Coach Erica Walsh has this team on the cusp of its 10th-consecutive Big Ten championship behind the goal scoring capabilities of Katie Schoepfer (11 goals) and Aubrey Aden-Buie (nine) and the eight shutouts and 0.63 goals against average of goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher. The Nittany Lions swept Purdue and Indiana last weekend: 1-0 and 2-1, respectively.

Ohio State improved to a perfect 10-0-0 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium this season after defeating 30thranked Indiana, 1-0, last Friday on a goal in the 73rd minute by freshman Alex Burzynski. The play was set up by Amanda Ball and Emily Esbrook. Goalkeeper Lauren Robertson recorded her seventh shutout of the season. On Sunday, the No. 4 Boilermakers came back from an early 1-0 deficit to hand Ohio State its first loss at home since Michigan defeated Ohio State on Oct. 22, 2006. Ohio State scored just four minutes into the match off a terrific set piece. Keiana Mitchell headed in a perfect corner kick set-up from Alex Byrzinski to give Ohio State its quickest goal of the season with 41:01 left to play in the half. The deficit didn’t phase Purdue, which fired 13 shots on goal for the game, scored twice and was credited with an Ohio State own goal.

Penn State is the seventh nationally ranked opponent for Ohio State this season with prior contests against Purdue, North Carolina, San Diego, Louisville, Duke and Illinois.

A little more about Ohio State’s 2007 schedule: Ohio State’s 11-7-0 record has come against a schedule that is loaded with nationally ranked teams and with other teams that are among the top in their respective conferences. Consider:

  • Ohio State’s 2007 opponents have won 60 percent of their games with a combined record of 174-104-46.
  • Eight teams have at least 10 wins Purdue (15), North Carolina (14), San Diego, Indiana, Louisville and Wright State (12 apiece), Illinois (11) and St. Louis (10).
  • Four others have at least nine wins.

This is the ninth season that Ohio State has played its home games in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes are 59-23-7 all-time at Jesse Owens and in the last four seasons they are an impressive 40-8-5 at home (.801).

Ohio State was victorious in its first 10 matches at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, a record for the Scarlet and Gray. The best previous 10-game start was the 2004 team’s 9-0-1 opening. That team finished 15-1-1 at home. At home this year, the Buckeyes have:

  • outscored the opposition, 22-7;
  • out-shot them, 171-121; and
  • had 22 more corner kicks 67-35.

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 120-89-15 at Ohio State and 133-112-16 all-time. She was head coach at Kansas for two seasons prior to coming to Ohio State.


No. 17 Carla Arbulu ... A terrific athlete with speed, skill and agility, Carla has played in 59 games over the last four years ... a 19-game starter last year as a junior, Carla was on her way to being an everyday starter again this season as well, but injuries have limited her to 12 games played and 11 starts ... her senior season started wonderfully: she recorded five points in OSU wins over Butler and St. Louis ... she was named to the Soccer Buzz “team of the week” for her efforts ... Carla has career totals of 6 goals, 13 assists and 25 total points ... she ranks 8th all-time at Ohio State in assists.
Tri-Captain, No. 26, Amanda Ball ... Four years ago Amanda Ball walked onto campus determined to make the Ohio State team and convinced she was good enough to play ... She was right ... Tonight, she will play in her 60th game for Ohio State with 43 starts and the honor of being a team tri-captain ... Amanda scored her first goal as a Buckeye against Minnesota this year, a huge game-tying score in the 84th minute ... A 2006 Big Ten Conference Sportsmanship Award honoree and NSCAA College Women Scholar Award honorable mention selection, Amanda also is an Academic All-Big Ten and a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete award winner.

Tri-Captain, No. 10, Lara Dickenmann ... A four-year starter, Lara Dickenmann came to Ohio State from the Swiss National Team and exploded onto the college soccer scene . . . the national freshman of the year in 2004, Dickenmann was also a first-team All-American after leading the great 2004 team that advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 in goals, assists and points . . . she has been named all-Big Ten Conference all three years . . . this year she became the first Buckeye to be named to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list ... Lara owns Ohio State single season records for goals, assists and points ... she is also first in career assists with 32, second in career points and sixth in career goals ... tonight will be Lara’s 78th career start ... academically, she is a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.

No. 22 Kate Linehan ... Kate has been in the Ohio State program for five years and has played in 36 games and made two starts ... she played in all 19 games as a freshman in 2003, totaling eight shots ... knee injuries limited her ability to compete from that point on, and she missed the entire 2004 season due to injury ... Kate played in 17 games after that, and when in the game, had the ability to offer a counter-attacking style that greatly lengthened the OSU bench ... Academically, Kate is a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.

Tri-Captain, No. 28 Keiana Mitchell ... A starter in 10 or more games in each of the last four seasons, tonight will mark the 57th career start for Keiana and her 78th game played for the Buckeyes ... as a freshman in 2004 Keiana started 12 times and made SoccerBuzz’s all-freshman team, helping the Buckeyes to an NCAA Elite 8 run ... Keiana has scored one goal with one assist so far as a senior, and she has career totals of 4 goals, 5 assists, 13 points and 25 shots playing mostly as a defender ... an NSCAA College Women Scholar Award honorable mention selection, Keiana also is a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and a three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.

No. 11 Alyx Portier ... A transfer from the University of South Alabama, Alyx Portier was with Ohio State for her junior and senior seasons ... Although her playing time was limited, Alyx was a valued and trusted teammate, one who anyone could turn to for advice and direction. She spent extra hours on the practice field learning the game from a coaches’ perspective, time that was well spent as she plans to continue in the sport as a youth team coach ... she was willing to try any position in an effort to help the team, playing in the midfield, as a defender and even as a goalkeeper for a while last spring.