Ohio State Women's Soccer is Back in the NCAAs
COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s soccer team was selected as an at-large team to the NCAA Tournament and will take on Hofstra Friday in a first-round game at Jeffrey Field on the campus of Penn State University. The host and No. 1 seed Nittany Lions meet Monmouth in the other opening round game.
“This is a fitting for our seniors,” Lori Walker, Ohio State head coach, said. “Our seniors have emerged through a lot of adversity to get back to the NCAAs. That’s the part we are really excited about.”
Ohio State will be making its fourth NCAA appearance, all under the direction of Walker. The Buckeyes’ previous appearances were in 2002-03-04. In 2004, three current seniors Lara Dickenmann, Keiana Mitchell and Carla Arbulu played on the team’s wonderful run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes have missed the NCAA Tournament the past two years and getting back was a clear goal this year.
“I’m excited and I’m glad we made it,” Dickenmann said. “I don’t know much about Hofstra, but it doesn’t matter because all four teams are going to be good. It has been a hard two years. They weren’t easy. But we got better and we learned and we deserve this. We deserve to be in the tournament.”
“This is an unbelievable feeling,” Amanda Ball, one of three senior tri-captains along with Dickenmann and Mitchell, said. “I don’t know how else to answer. What we’ve been through the last couple years [not making the tournament] has been hard. But we’re on our way back up now.”
“Our seniors have emerged through a lot of adversity,” Walker said. “Carla Arbulu came through huge for us with the tying goal against Indiana.. Keiana played some of her best soccer of the year the first two games. Lara continues to always attract the attention of the other team. Amanda continues to give us good minutes and to be a leader. I like the way the seniors have come through for us.”
Hofstra comes in to the NCAA Tournament at 17-3 overall on the year, setting a new school record for wins in a season. The Pride earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 win over Virginia Commonwealth in the Colonial Athletic Association championship game on Sunday. Hofstra will be making its second trip to the NCAA Tournament after earning its first bid in 2005.
Five Big Ten teams made this year’s NCAA Tournament. Indiana as well as Big Ten tournament champion Purdue and Illinois also made it out of the Big Ten.
“I think that getting five teams in shows the strength of the Big Ten Conference,” Walker said. “All five teams have had big wins. I’m glad to see the committee respects the Big Ten.”
AN OSU NCAA NOTES SNAPSHOT...