2009 Season in Review: Women's Soccer Buckeyes Reach NCAA Tournament
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The 2009 season was one full of program bests and record-setting performances for the Ohio State women's soccer team.
The Buckeyes finished second in the Big Ten Conference for their best finish ever and reached their fifth NCAA tournament. Their 14-3-2 regular season record marked the best in school history. The seven wins Ohio State posted in Big Ten play were a program best and the four total losses tied for the fewest in school history. The Buckeyes gave up just 13 goals, four fewer than any other season and were 4-0-1 against ranked opponents.
"I am very proud of our accomplishments," head coach Lori Walker said. "We set goals of winning the Big Ten, embraced that challenge and the girls held it in their hands for weeks so it was a tangible, critical experience for our players."
Five Buckeyes were named All-Big Ten, including captains Ashley Bowyer and Cassie Dickerson on the first team. Another Buckeye captain, Lauren "Taz" Robertson, received second team honors along with Lauren Steuer while rookie Tiffany Cameron made the All-Freshman team.
Bowyer and Robertson will leave Ohio State as two of the most decorated players in program history. Only three players have started more games for the Buckeyes than Bowyer. In her 82 games played, all starts, the Aliso Viejo, Calif., native scored 10 goals and added 16 assists, good for sixth all-time at Ohio State.
Robertson posted one of the most dominant seasons in program history in 2009, recording an Ohio State record 12 shutouts and a 0.63 goals-against average, the second-best ever. The 29 career shutouts posted by the Mission Viejo, Calif., native are the most ever at Ohio State and second-most all-time in Big Ten history. Taz's career goals-against average of 1.03 ranks second at Ohio State and her 283 career saves are the third-most in program history.
"To go from giving up 31 goals (in 2008) to 13 is incredible," Walker added. "The 13 shutouts were a very high number and going 14-4-2 against a competitive schedule will only help us down the road."
Junior Lauren Steuer was able to make a successful transition to the midfield from the back line, tallying four goals while leading the team with seven assists for a team-leading 15 points.
Despite the production from the upperclassmen, 2009 was not all about the veterans as freshmen or sophomores accounted for 24 Buckeye goals and eight game-winners. Freshman Lauren Granberg and sophomore Paige Maxwell led the team with six goals each while Cameron added four goals and four assists.
The 2009 campaign may go down as one of the best seasons in program history, but the Buckeyes will look at it as a foundation to build upon in 2010.