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Bobcat Lacrosse Gets Tough Test in Season Opener

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Kari Fasick is one of four Bobcat captains. She scored nine goals and had two assists last season.
Kari Fasick is one of four Bobcat captains. She scored nine goals and had two assists last season.

Feb. 17, 2006

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Ohio lacrosse team will open the 2006 campaign on Sunday, Feb. 19 when it travels to the University of Maryland. It will mark the Bobcats' first game under Head Coach Allison Valentino.

The Valentino Era Begins
The 2006 season opener at Maryland marks the first game in the head coaching career of Bobcat boss Allison Valentino. Valentino came to Ohio after a distinguished career as an assistant. She spent the 2005 season with the Terrapins, where she was the primary recruiting coordinator while working extensively with the offense and goalies. Prior to her time in College Park, Valentino spent six years at Duke, five as an assistant and one as the associate head coach. The Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament each year, including three straight quarterfinal appearances and a trip to the national semifinals in 1999.

Ohio in Season Openers
Since the program was reinstated for the 1999 season, the Bobcats are 2-5 in season-opening contests. This marks the first time since 2003 that Ohio has not opened up the season at home. The Bobcats defeated Albany in both the 2003 and 2004 season debuts before falling to Duquesne, 6-5 in double overtime, last season.

The Ohio vs. Maryland Series
Sunday's game marks the first time the Bobcats and Terrapins have faced each other since Ohio's program was restarted in 1999.

Welcome Home
Ohio has 12 players who call the state of Maryland home -- Kim Cherneski, Amanda Diehl, Devon Dow, Kari Fasick, Shannon Hadaway, Jen Heup, Jayme Levy, Shannon Lynes, Colleen Nevin, Julie Roguski, Lauren Roguski, Frannie Sullivan.

Dobbie to Miss 2006
Dana Dobbie, a first-team All-American Lacrosse Conference selection and the Bobcats' leading scorer in 2005, will not play during the 2006 campaign. Dobbie suffered injuries to both ankles and is currently going through rehabilitation. She had been practicing with the team during preseason prior to the decision to sit out the season.

Top Ten Opponent Out of the Gate
Ohio will certainly be tested early when they face Maryland to start the 2006 campaign. The Terrapins were ranked ninth in the preseason IWLCA poll and occupy the fourth spot in the latest Inside Lacrosse media poll. Maryland is the first of six teams ranked in the IWLCA preseaosn poll that the Bobcats will face in 2006, including defending national champion and top-ranked Northwestern. Since 2004, the Bobcats are 1-10 against ranked teams. The lone victory came on April 25, 2004 when Ohio defeated 19th-ranked Penn State, 8-7, in Athens.

Scouting Maryland
The Terrapins opened their 2006 season with a 13-8 loss at home to defending national champion Northwestern. Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-America pick Delia Cox led the Maryland offense with six points on three goals and three assists. Krista Pellizzi and Kelly Kasper each recorded two goals. Allie Buote made nine saves in goal for the Terps. Head Coach Cindy Timchal has built Maryland into one of the most successful women's lacrosse teams in the nation. Timchal is 221-27 in her 14 seasons at Maryland. The Terrapins have gone to the NCAA finals in 11 of the past 14 years at one point winning an unprecedented seven-straight national titles. As a program, Maryland is the winningest women's lacrosse team in NCAA history, compiling a 422-96-3 mark in 30 years of lacrosse.