Golden Grizzlies Claim Mid-Continent Conference Championship
The Oakland University mens soccer team won its first ever Mid-Continent Conference regular season championship when it finished the regular season at 11-5-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play. In the Mid-Con Tournament the Golden Grizzlies defeated UMKC in double overtime in the semi-final game, 4-3, but lost to IUPUI 2-1 in triple overtime in the final game to end the season at 12-6-1.
Nine Golden Grizzlies earned all-conference honors: Adam Heinemann (Ortonville), Jason Perry (Southfield), Mike Skolnik (Livonia), Anders Vollen (Olso, Norway), Viggo Athonsen (Gjerdum, Norway), Gunnar Halvorsen (Gjerdum, Norway), Inge Pedersen (Klofta, Norway), Paul Snape (Liverpool, England) and Nick Stockyj (Shelby Twp.).
Anthonsen, Halvorsen, Pedersen, Snape and Stockyj were selected all-Mid-Con first team and Athonsen, Halvorsen and Snape were selected to the all-tournament team in the Mid-Con Championship.
The Grizzlies opened up the season on the road at the University of Akron September 3. Both teams defenses were stellar as the game ended in a double overtime 0-0 tie. OU netminder Skolnik recorded five saves on 10 Akron shots. Overall Record: 0-0-1.
OU traveled to San Diego, California to participate in the San Diego Tournament September 8-10. Oaklands first opponent of the tournament was the Zags of Gonzaga. After a scoreless first half OUs Vollen scored the games first goal to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. Athonsen and junior Jeff Beeler (Detroit) assisted on Vollens goal. After a Zags goal to tie the game at 1-1 Vollen scored the game winner with less than 10 minutes left in the game to seal the Grizzlies win. Overall Record: 1-0-1.
The second game of the tourney featured OU matched against the host of the tournament San Diego. OUs Snape gave the Grizzlies an early lead when he scored at the 11:37 mark of the first half to give Oakland a 1-0 lead. Twenty minutes later Anthonsen passed to Beeler to give the Grizzlies their second goal of the game. The Toreros scored at the 33.16 mark to cut the Grizzlies lead to 2-1 going into halftime. In the second half goalkeeper Skolnik paced the defense as he recorded three second half saves to secure a 2-1 Grizzlies win. Overall Record: 2-0-1.
Oakland headed home to face the Flyers of Dayton in its first home game of the season September 16. Down 2-0 OUs Vollen scored at the 63:59 mark to make it a 2-1 game but despite the Grizzlies effort Dayton handed OU its first home opener loss in five years. Overall Record: 2-1-1.
On September 19 the Golden Grizzlies traveled Milwaukee to face the Golden Eagles of Marquette. OU tried to make it three straight wins over the Golden Eagles as Vollen scored the games first goal to give OU a 1-0 going into halftime. MU scored the tying goal at the 67:15 mark to send the game to overtime at 1-1. Marquette proved too strong for the Grizzlies as the Golden Eagles scored 46 seconds into the extra period sending the Grizzlies with a 2-1 loss. Overall Record: 2-2-1.
Oakland participated in its second tournament of the season at Bowling Green September 23-24. The Grizzlies first opponent of the tournament and their first ever Southeastern Conference (SEC) opponent was the Commodores of Vanderbilt. After a suffering a two game skid the Grizzlies came out strong as Snape put the ball in a wide open net at the 18:54 mark to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. Late in the second half the Grizzlies put the game out of reach as Halvorsen and Pederson each scored to give OU a 3-0 victory. Skolnik had two saves in the win. Overall Record: 3-2-1.
OUs second opponent of the tourney and its first Big Ten opponent of the year was the Buckeyes of Ohio State. Again OUs Vollen scored the games first goal to give OU an early lead but the Grizzlies couldnt hold on as the Buckeyes downed OU by the final of 4-1. Overall Record: 3-3-1.
Oakland continued its road trip by traveling to Indianapolis to battle the Butler Bulldogs September 27. Butlers Nick Pantazi scored the games first goal at the 28:05 mark in the first half to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 halftime lead. The Golden Grizzlies scored four goals in the games last 16 minutes to give OU a 4-1 win. Heinemann and Eris Tafai (London, Ontario) each scored a goal and Pedersen scored two goals in the win. Overall Record: 4-3-1.
Oakland then traveled across town to face its first Mid-Con opponent of the 2000 season, IUPUI, October 1. OUs Heinemann scored the games only goal at the 56:11 mark in the second half to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 win. OUs defense prevailed as goalkeeper Skolnik paced the Grizzlies as he turned away two Jaguar shots. Overall Record: 5-3-1, Mid-Con Record: 1-0.
The Golden Grizzlies returned home to face the Spartans of Michigan State on October 4. Defense again rose to the occasion as OU shut down the Spartans. Golden Grizzly Rob Maxwell (Portage) scored the games only goal to give OU its sixth win of the season and 13th win against the Spartans. Overall Record: 6-3-1.
The Golden Grizzlies hosted their first Mid-Con match of the 2000 season against the Leathernecks of Western Illinois October 7. The Leathernecks ended the Grizzlies three-game winning streak as they defeated OU 2-0. Overall Record: 6-4-1, Mid-Con Record: 1-1.
Oakland got back on track as they defeated the Bearcats of Cincinnati October 11. Robert Hillman (East Lansing) scored his first goal of the season off a Pedersen pass at the 64:55 mark to give the Grizzlies their seventh win of the season as OU improved to 7-4-1.
Oakland traveled west to Tulsa, Oklahoma to battle the Golden Eagles of Oral Roberts October 14. OUs Beeler scored the at the 42.37 mark off a Pedersen pass to give the Grizzlies their fourth 1-0 victory of the season. Skolnik was solid in net as he turned away five ORU shots. Overall Record: 8-4-1, Mid-Con Record: 2-1.
OU returned home to start the first of four home stands. First up was Bowling Green October 17. Senior forward Ron Mashni (Plymouth) scored his first goal of the year at the 8:24 mark to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 going into halftime. In the last 11 minutes of the game the Falcons came to life scoring two goals in under two minutes to give BGSU a 2-1 win. Overall Record: 8-5-1.
The Grizzlies played host to the Crusaders of Valparaiso October 22. After a scoreless first half the Grizzlies Snape scored his third goal of the season at the 57.40 mark to put OU up 1-0. Pedersen scored his fourth goal of the year as he put OU up by two goals (2-0). Anthonsen sealed the game as he scored OUs third and final goal to give OU its third conference victory. Overall Record: 9-5-1, Mid-Con Record: 3-1.
Oakland hosted its last conference opponent of the regular season when UMKC came to town October 28. The Grizzlies Halvorsen scored his first goal of the season at the 6:24 mark of the first half to give OU a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later Heinemann put Oakland up by the score of 2-0. Pedersen assisted on the goal. Kangaroos Brian Soell scored at the 32.27 mark to cut the Grizzlies lead to 2-1 at halftime. OUs Snape scored the game winner at the 88:12 mark in the second half to seal another Golden Grizzlies win. The win gave the Golden Grizzlies a share of the Mid-Con regular season championship with Western Illinois. Overall Record: 10-5-1, Mid-Con Record: 4-1.
Western Michigan came to the OU Soccer Field October 29 to finish up the regular season. Skolnik recorded his eighth shutout of the season as he tallied one save. The Grizzlies downed the Broncos 3-0. Heinemann scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season as he paced the Grizzlies in the win. Mashni also recorded a goal, his second of the season. Overall Record: 11-5-1, Mid-Con Record 4-1.
The Golden Grizzlies traveled to Macomb, Illinois to participate in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament November 3-5. In the first game OU faced the Kangaroos of UMKC. OU downed UMKC a week earlier by the final of 3-1. The Grizzlies were down 2-0 at the half. At the 52 minute mark Pedersen put OU on the board as he scored his first of three goals on the day. The Grizzlies saw visions of their season coming to a close as the Kangaroos Josh Hickam scored at the 72:27 mark to give UMKC a 3-1 lead with less than 18 minutes left to play. Pedersen then answered the call as he scored two goals in two minutes to send the game to overtime at 3-3. Twenty-one seconds into the second overtime OUs Heinemann scored to give the Grizzlies a 4-3 victory and send them to the final game versus IUPUI. Overall Record: 12-5-1.
OU and IUPUI battled it out for the conference championship and battle they did. OUs Jeppe Lagerbohm (Espoo, Finland) scored the games first goal at the 57 second mark to give OU a 1-0 lead. In the 39th minute IUPUIs Tommy Dunlap scored to tie the game at 1-1. Both teams remained knoted at one goal a piece after regulation. It took three overtimes for the next goal as IUPUIs Dunlap scored his second goal of the game as IUPUI won the Mid-Con Championship and ended the Golden Grizzlies championship season. Overall Record: 12-6-1.
Viggo Anthonsen, Oakland
Most Valuable Player
2000 Men's Soccer All-Conference
Viggo Anthonsen, Oakland
Sheldon Barrett, Oral Roberts
Armando Femia, IUPUI
Gunnar Halvorsen, Oakland
Thies Hermann, IUPUI
Justin Langan, Western Illinois
Troy Markin, Western Illinois
Inge Pedersen, Oakland
Paul Snape, Oakland
Brian Soell, UMKC
Nick Stockyj, Oakland
Tony Avery, UMKC
D.J. Harrington, Western Illinois
Adam Heinemann, Oakland
Ramiro Perez, Oral Roberts
Jason Perry, Oakland
Larry Scheller, UMKC
Jason Schroeder, Western Illinois
Mike Skolnik, Oakland
Chris Vokt, Western Illinois
Anders Vollen, Oakland
Brian Wallace, UMKC
Player of the Year
Troy Markin, Western Illinois
Newcomer of the Year
Justin Langan, Western Illinois
Coach of the Year
Eric Johnson, Western Illinois