Aug. 20, 2009
The 2009 soccer season officially commences August 4 with the first day of practice and will be followed 17 days later – Aug. 21 – with the first game of the season against Bowling Green. In that short span of less than three weeks, 13th year head coach Lori Walker and her staff will welcome 19 returning players and nine incoming freshmen for a season that will be unlike any in the previous 16 years of Ohio State soccer.
ABOUT THE 2009 SCHEDULE
Ohio State played 13 teams last year that made the 2008 NCAA tournament. The 2009 schedule could be equally as tough. Ohio State will play eight teams that made the 2008 NCAA tournament, including non-conference powers USC, West Virginia and San Diego, teams that advanced past the opening round of the 2008 tournament. UNLV was an 11-win team in 2008 and when combined with USC, WVU and USD, Ohio State has added four teams to its schedule that are Top 20-type teams, according to Walker.
LEADERSHIP FROM THE TOP
Eight upperclassmen – six who have played on the NCAA tournament stage – will take on the leadership roles for the 28-person team. A look at the 2009 leaders, starting with the team’s three captains:
Ashley Bowyer will captain the team for a second consecutive year. This midfielder has special talents on the soccer field and is the team’s leading returning assist maker with 11 and scorer with 23 career points.
Lauren Robertson is a keeper, literally and figuratively, and she is the only other senior – eligibility-wise – on the team. She, too, will serve as a team captain. She’s experienced, too, with 56 starts, 29 victories and 17 shutouts already to her credit.
Cassie Dickerson is a senior academically, a junior defender on the playing fields and a two-time captain. She has played in only three games for Ohio State as knee injuries have repeatedly sidelined her, but she brings a presence of calmness and poise to the team…plus plenty of attitude, whether she’s playing or not.
Lauren Beachy, an attacking defender, is a dependable player who always gets her job done. She has started 42 of 43 games the last two seasons and has contributed seven assists, second-most among current Buckeyes.
Genna Brand is a forward/midfielder who is athletic, fast and possesses a wonderful soccer skill set. She has scored three goals and added two assists over the past two seasons.
Midfielder Courtney Jenkins has played a ton of minutes while starting 38 times already. She wins balls and can change the point of attack.
Ali Schwach has the ability to set the tone for the team’s attack as a defender or midfielder because of her great attacking first touch. Ali has played in 30 games with 12 starts and has scored three goals.
Lauren Steuer is an extremely fit defender-turned-midfielder who has 42 starts to her credit and more minutes played the last two years than any person on the team. She is a two-time winner of the team’s defensive MVP award.
SOMETHING TO BUILD UPON
Nine freshmen played extensive, considerable minutes last season, including the team’s leading scorer, 19-, 16- and 12-game starting defenders, three others who played between 10 and 20 games, a four-goal scorer and another with four assists.
Here’s more about those young ladies who make up this year’s sophomore class of Buckeyes:
Keeper Katie Baumgardner was forced into action making four starts last year due to a leg injury to Lauren Robertson.
Colleen Brady made her first start of the season in the fifth game against Rutgers and then stayed in the lineup at central defender for the rest of the season (16 starts). She played a full 90 minutes 11 times.
Defender Lauren Cusick understands the game very well, which helped her to play in 10 games last season with a season-high 29 minutes vs. Duke.
Kelsi Landry started her initial season, playing in 13 games as a defender and finished as a defensive central midfielder.
Midfielder/forward Caitlyn Martin is excellent playing with her back to the goal. She played in 10 games in 2008, started four times and was tied for second on the team with four assists.
Keeper Kendall Maxwell brings excellent shot-blocking skills to the pitch. She red-shirted the 2008 season.
Forward Paige Maxwell was named the team’s MVP on offense after registering team-high totals of eight goals and 18 points. She was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com all-freshman second team.
Taylor Moront, a forward, played in 19 games and ranked third on the team with four goals. At one point she scored goals in three consecutive games (vs. Duke, Evansville and Louisville).
Danielle Scoliere played in 20 games and started 12 times and proved she could handle 1v1 isolation at the defender position.
Liz Sullivan is an intense defender who always seems to win her matchup. She made 19 starts last season and recorded seven shots and one assist.
Brooke Taylor brings attitude and a competitive edge to the playing field every day. An outside midfielder, she played in all 20 games last year and totaled three points with a goal and an assist.
THE FRESHMAN CLASS INCLUDES:
• Four Ohio players: two local players from Columbus suburbs – Kendyl Reed
, from Worthington and Kellen Shields
, from Dublin – plus Lauren Amyx
from Cincinnati and Jessie Greenberg
• Two from the state of Pennsylvania – Kayla Eckman
, from Freeport and Alyssa Walker
, from Pittsburgh.
• Three from outside the United States, including two Canadians – Tiffany Cameron
, from Mississauga, Ontario and Lauren Granberg
, from Edmonton, Alberta – and one from Israel (Karin Sendel
, from Kiryat Tivon