Tuesday, November 12, 2002
OU faces Michigan at NCAA Tournament
Oakland University’s women's soccer team, which won its third straight Mid-Continent Conference Tournament title Nov. 10, will face intrastate rival Michigan on Friday, Nov. 15, in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament.
The match, which is hosted by the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, will be the Golden Grizzlies second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The other match in Ann Arbor features Michigan State and Miami (Ohio). Michigan State and Miami will take the field at 11 a.m. while Oakland and Michigan will face each other at 2 p.m.
Oakland enters the NCAA Tournament with a 10-11-1 record, making it one of only two NCAA Tournament teams with a sub-.500 record (the other team is Big Ten Tournament champion Ohio State who poses an 8-10-3 mark).
The Golden Grizzlies, who have won three straight Mid-Con tournaments, emerged from last week's conference tournament as the number three seed, and tied top seed Oral Roberts 1-1 in regulation and double overtime before defeating the team 4-2 in a penalty kick shootout to take the title as Mid-Con Tournament champions.
The OU team features Mid-Con Player of the Year Erica Demers and Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year Kristi Swaving. Coached by Nick O'Shea, the Golden Grizzlies established a single-season school record with its 11 losses in 2002. However, eight of those losses were by one goal. In the past six matches, the Golden Grizzlies have surrendered just one loss entering the NCAA Tournament.
Oakland posted a 2-5 record against the seven games played against NCAA Tournament participants in 2002. The Golden Grizzlies lost to first-round opponent Michigan (2-0), as well as to Michigan State (2-0), Dayton (2-1), Cincinnati (1-0) and Purdue (4-3, OT), while posting wins over UW-Milwaukee (2-1) and Marquette (2-0), which both occurred in the first week of the season. Along with other teams in the conference, the Mid-Con sports a 2-11 record against this season’s NCAA field.
Oakland made its initial NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament appearance last season, falling in the first round to eventual “Sweet 16” participant Cincinnati by a 3-2 score. Oakland will look to improve on that appearance this year and will be looking for Demers and Swaving to lead the team.
"We're excited to go the NCAA's again this year," said head coach Nick O'Shea. "We will be looking to improve on last year's loss in the first round."