Golden Grizzlies Complete Another Successful Season
Oakland University womens soccer team ended the regular season 10-5-1, 4-1 in the Mid-Con. OU successfully defended its regular season championship and went onto defeat IUPUI, 4-1, and Oral Roberts, 2-1 OT, to win its first Mid-Con Tournament Championship and finish 12-5-1.
OUs Kristen Luoma (Troy/Athens) was named the 2000 Mid-Con Player of the Year and the tournaments MVP. Luoma finished the season with 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points, including two goals and two assists in the tourney.
Eight Golden Grizzlies cashed in on all-conference recognition; seniors Luoma and Kaja Lund (Skjetten, Norway/Lillestrom), juniors Gail Wilson (Burlington, Ontario/Notre DamePrep) and Ashley McGhee (Burlington, Ontario/Lester B. Pearson), sophomores Kim Moore (Georgetown, Ontario/Georgetown District) and Debbie Cartmel (Merseyside, England/De La Salle) and freshmen Sarah Buckland (Burlington, Ontario/Lester B. Pearson) and Erica Demers (Welland, Ontario/Centennial).
Luoma, Wilson, Lund and Moore were all Mid-Con first team. Cartmel, Moore and McGhee were selected to the all-tournament team in the Mid-Con Championship.
OU opened up the season with Big-Ten opponent Ohio State in Columbus. The Golden Grizzlies jumped on the Buckeyes early as they scored three unanswered goals in the first half and led, 3-0, after 45 minutes of play. The two teams exchanged goals in the second half as OU downed Ohio State, 4-1. Oaklands Luoma led the way as she scored two goals in the game. Oakland 1-0.
The Golden Grizzlies continued their road trip as they traveled to Pepperdine, California to face the Green Wave. This was the first meeting between these two teams and it was a dandy. Pepperdine jumped out to an early lead as Kate Desmond scored 18 minutes into the match. OUs McGhee answered 10 minutes later and knotted the game at 1-1. Tasha Spangler scored at the 31:28 minute mark for the Green Wave as they led for the second time, 2-1. Luoma scored the final goal of the first half at the 44:20 minute mark as the two teams entered halftime tied, 2-2. Neither team could score in the the second half, or in the two extra frames as the match ended, 2-2. Four OU players had points as Oakland moved to 1-0-1.
Continuing on the road Oakland traveled to East Lansing to face the Spartans from Michigan State. Oakland held a 1-0 advantage in the series as this was only the second meeting between these in-state opponents. OUs Luoma scored the first goal at the 20:21 minute mark to give Oakland an early, 1-0, advantage. Michigan State struck back seven minutes later as the two teams went into the half tied, 1-1. MSUs Kristi Arrington gave the Golden Grizzlies their first defeat of the season as she scored the game-winner on a diving header at the 61:10 minute mark. Oakland falls to 1-1-1.
Oaklands third Big-Ten opponent of the season, University of Wisconsin, was next on the schedule. OU was participating in the Wisconsin Tournament for the second straight season. The Golden Grizzlies couldt muster any offense against the Badgers as they fell, 2-0, in Madison. Oakland falls to 1-2-1.
OU faced George Mason in the second game of the Wisconsin tourney. After a scoreless first half, junior forward McGhee got loose in front of George Masons net and scored when she received a pass from Cartmel with just two minutes left in the game. Freshman goalkeeper Buckland made eight saves as she recorded her first shutout of the season. Oakland finished third in the tournament and improved to 2-2-1.
Toledo was the last game of Oaklands six game road trip. The Golden Grizzlies fell behind 1-0 before freshman midfielder Natalie Rodi (Shelby Twp./Eisenhower) scored at the 42:21 minute mark. Both teams started the second half tied at 1-1 as the Rockets watched the Golden Grizzlies run off three consecutive goals. Toledo scored the final goal of the game at the 79:53 minute mark as OU defeated the Rockets, 4-2, in Toledo. McGhee led the Grizzly attack with a goal and an assist. Oakland ended its road trip 3-2-1.
The Golden Grizzlies returned home to open up their home season against Central Michigan University. Oakland played a lot of defense as they only allowed the Chippewas four shots the entire game and defeated CMU, 1-0, in Rochester. OU remained perfect against the Chippewas (5-0) in the two teams history with the one goal victory. Sophomore transfer Jill Gibson (Novi/Madonna University) scored the only goal of the game at the 35:40 minute mark and Buckland recorded her second shutout of the season as Oakland moves to 4-2-1.
Oakland remained in Rochester to face the Titans from Detroit-Mercy. Oakland defeated the Titans, 3-0, for a four-game winning-streak against UD-Mercy. The Grizzlies scored three goals in a span of 18 minutes by freshman Shelly Piccirillo (Niagara Falls, Ontario/North Myer), Luoma and Cartmel. The win was OUs fourth in a row to improve to 5-2-1.
OU took its four-game winning-streak 45 miles southwest to Ypsilanti to take on Eastern Michigan University. The first 45 minutes were scoreless and both teams opened up the offense in the second half. OUs McGhee struck first on a pass from Gibson at the 61:39 minute mark. EMUs Amanda Kulikowski scored six minutes later to tie the game, 1-1. Neither team could get one past the goalkeepers for the remainder of regulation as they headed into overtime. Just under two minutes into overtime McGhee scored the game-winner, and second of the game, from Gibson to give Oakland its fifth consecutive victory, 2-1. OU improves to 6-2-1.
Conference play opened up on the road for Oakland as they traveled to Indianapolis to face the Jaguars of IUPUI. The first half saw each team score a goal as they entered halftime tied, 1-1. McGhee scored her second goal of the game at the 50:24 mark of the second half to give OU the lead for the second time, 2-1. IUPUI answered right back four minutes later to tie the game at two, only to see McGhee score the hat trick at the 65:27 minute mark and down the Jaguars, 3-2. Oakland moved to 7-2-1, six in a row, and 1-0 in the Mid-Con.
The final Big-Ten opponent on OUs schedule, Michigan, was next and the Golden Grizzlies brought a six-game winning-streak to Ann Arbor. There were no goals scored in the first 45 minutes of play thanks to OUs Bucklands five saves. The Wolverines struck at the 56:24 minute mark and Oakland countered with a goal of its own by Cartmel, three minutes later. Michigans Amber Wilson scored her second goal of the game and Abby Crumpton tallied the final goal of the game as the Wolverines downed Oakland, 3-1, in Ann Arbor. The loss ended OUs longest winning streak of the season, six, and dropped them to 7-3-1, 1-0 Mid-Con.
Returning to conference play the Golden Grizzlies welcomed Western Illinois to Rochester. Oakland outshot the Westerwinds, 11-2, in the first half but couldnt sneak one past WIUs netminder Summer Perala. Luoma finally scored on Oaklands 19th shot of the game at the 67:02 minute mark, for her second game-winning goal of the season. Buckland made two saves for her third shutout of the season, OU improves to 8-3-1, 2-0 Mid-Con.
Oakland traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma for its final road game of the regular season. The game resembled a defensive mastermind on both sides of the field and half way through the second half, Oral Roberts broke through by Shoemaker at the 66:06 mark. Oakland outshot the Golden Eagles, 19-8, but couldnt get one past the ORU goalkeeper as OU tasted defeat for the first time in the Mid-Con as the fell to 2-1, 7-1 all-time. Oakland fell to 8-4-1 overall.
Stepping out of conference play, Oakland played host to UW-Milwaukee. Oakland had redemption on its mind as they fell to the Panthers a year ago in Milwaukee, 2-1. OUs Demers scored quickly for the Grizzlies on a set up from Wilson and Luoma at the 6:59 minute mark. Oakland continued pressure on the Panthers but saw a few shots hit the crossbar and remained up, 1-0, after 45 minutes. UW-Milwaukee picked up the offense in the final 20 minutes as they scored when Kristin Munyon received a pass from Fanta Cooper in the box. The goal came at the 75:34 minute mark and the two teams needed an extra period to settle the score. UW-Ms Erin Blaedow ended the game as she scored on a shot from 10 yards out, just 1:47 into overtime. Oakland falls to 8-5-1, 2-1 Mid-Con and ties its longest losing streak of the season, two.
Valparaiso came calling in Rochester as the showdown for first place in the Mid-Con was on the line. The Crusaders stood alone at the top at 2-0, as Oakland and Oral Roberts sat in second with 2-1 records. Oakland wasnt going to let its efforts to repeat as Mid-Con Champions come up short, so they came ready to play. The Golden Grizzlies scored two goals at the end of the first half, both by Piccirillo (39:02 and 43:17). OU finished the Crusaders off early in the second half as Luoma scored two goals, McGhee and Demers each had one all within the 60 minute mark. Oakland outshot Valparaiso, 21-2, in the game and Buckland made one save for her fifth shutout as Oakland downed the Crusaders, 6-0, in Rochester. Oakland took over first place in the Mid-Con, at 3-1, while Oral Roberts and Valparaiso sat at 2-1. Oakland improved to 9-5-1 overall.
Oakland had a week off before its last game of the regular season, and knew that they had to defeat Youngstown State to win a share of the Mid-Con regular season title. Oral Roberts finished conference play at 4-1, and guaranteed itself the number one seed in the tourney. Oakland had an impressive record (4-1) at home tasting defeat only once all season, 2-1 in overtime against UW-Milwaukee. The Grizzly attack didnt take long as McGhee scored a hat trick to start the game (11:51, 16:21 and 25:35). Demers scored the fourth goal of the game and Beth Howson (Grosse Pointe/Grosse Pointe South) scored her first goal wearing a Golden Grizzly uniform at the 31:33 minute mark. Wilson scored the final two goals for Oakland as they led, 7-0, at the half. Lund, Cindy Papadopolous (Unionville, Ontario/Brother Andre) and Tracy Lute (Canton/Plymouth Canton) all scored their first goals of the season in the record setting, 12-2, victory. Luoma set two school records in the game, most points in a career (114) and goals in a career (44). Oakland finished the regular season 10-5-1, 4-1 Mid-Con and won a share of the Mid-Con regular season title, shared with Oral Roberts.
Oakland traveled to Tulsa as they entered the Mid-Con tourney as the number two seed. The Golden Grizzlies faced IUPUI in the semifinals of the tournament. Oakland had defeated IUPUI in Indianapolis, 3-2, on September 29. The Grizzly attack was in full effect as McGhee and Demers scored at the 22:10 and 26:31 minute marks. Oakland took a 3-0 lead into halftime when an IUPUI defender deflected a cross into her own net. Luoma scored the fourth unanswered goal for Oakland to push the lead to 4-0. IUPUIs Karrie Reising scored the final goal of the match at the 77:17 mark of the second half as Oakland headed to the championship game for the first time, 4-1 over IUPUI. Oakland improves to 11-5-1.
The Championship game saw the two regular season Champions meet up for the second time. Oakland had a score to settle as they fell to the Golden Eagles, 1-0, in Tulsa, on October 14. After a scoreless first half, the two teams had an explosive second half that saw great saves and two goals. ORU struck first as Meghan Mitchell beat the Oakland goalkeeper from 40 yards out at the 63:50 minute mark to give Oral Roberts a 1-0 lead. The 2000 Mid-Con Player of the Year showed her team why she was given this honor as she beat a defender after a pass from Therese Bjorke (Lovenstad, Norway/Ralingen) at the 75:54 mark to tie the game, 1-1. Luoma had a chance to end the game as she was awarded a penalty kick due to a foul in the box by ORU. ORUs Christy Chapman came up with a spectacular save and sent the game into overtime. It didnt take Oakland long as Cartmel scored the game-winner on a throw-in play set up by Wilson and Piccirillo, three minutes into overtime, for the 2-1 victory. It was the first Mid-Con Tournament Championship for the Golden Grizzlies and sent them to 12-5-1 overall.
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