Oakland Womens Soccer Caps Off Ten-Year History With Winning Season
2003 marked the tenth year in Oakland University's women's soccer history and also marked the year in which records were broken and champions were born. The team broke two school records, won its fourth consecutive Mid-Con Championship Title, took the conference regular season crown, made its third consecutive appearance at the NCAA Women's College Cup, and ended the season with one of the best winning records throughout the program's history at 15-5-1.
Furthermore, the Golden Grizzlies took the Mid-Con by storm going undefeated in conference play and sweeping all Mid-Con honors. Senior Therese Bjorke (Lovenstad, Norway) was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year, Shelly Piccirillo (Niagara Falls, Ont.) was named Offensive Player of the Year, while freshman Lisa-Marie Woods (Oslo, Norway) took Newcomer of the Year honors. In addition, head coach Nick O'Shea would take Coach of the Year honors while ten Golden Grizzlies were named to the Mid-Con's first and second teams. Joining Bjorke, Piccirillo and Woods on the All Mid-Con first team were goalie Sarah Buckland (Burlington, Ont.), midfielder Erica Demers (Welland, Ont.), and forward Marianne Samdal (Tiller, Norway). Second-team All Mid-Con honorees included defenders Katie Arnott (St. John's, Newfoundland) and Cat Panabaker (Hamilton, Ont.), midfielder Kelly Rieck (Shelby Twp., Mich.) and forward Kristi Swaving (Albuquerque, New Mexico).
Head coach Nick O'Shea, who
also entered 2003 in his tenth year, began the season with a win over Big
Ten opponent Illinois. The Golden Grizzlies traveled to Champaign
for the Illini Cup and went undefeated throughout the weekend beating the
Fighting Illini 1-0 and tying Southeast Missouri State 0-0. As a
result of her performances in shutting out two teams over the weekend,
senior goalkeeper Buckland was named Mid-Con's Defensive Player of the
On October 5th the Golden
Grizzlies returned home to take on Cincinnati in their third meeting in
both programs history. Oakland looked to seek revenge on the
Bearcats who had beaten the Grizzlies twice over the past two years - one
of those defeats coming in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2001.
Oakland didn't hold back however and easily-handled the visitors by a
whopping 5-1 margin. Freshman forward Samdal scored two goals on
three shots against Western Illinois and then went on to score two more
and rack-up an assist against Cincinnati. As a result, Samdal was named
Mid-Con's Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending October 6th.
Just before the team traveled to Tulsa, Okla. for the Mid-Con Tournament, the Golden Grizzlies' ten game winning streak was snapped by intrastate rival Western Michigan by a 3-2 defeat. Oakland was quick to rebound from this loss as the team faced their third Big Ten opponent in the 2003 season and remained victorious against Big Ten teams for the year handing Indiana a 3-0 loss.
Oakland entered the Mid-Con
tournament as the number one seed and faced Western Illinois in the
match-up. In an enduring battle that lasted for 94:30, the Golden
Grizzlies finally got the golden goal from Samdal that gave them the
victory, 1-0, and the right to enter the championship title game.
During the tournament Demers, a first team
All-Mid-Con honoree and last year's pick as Mid-Con's Player of the Year,
was named tournament MVP while three other players were named to the
All-Tournament team. Defender Laura Cowham (Caledonia, Mich.)
was joined by Samdal and Swaving on the team who helped Oakland capture
the Mid-Con Championship title.
|Oakland University 2003. All rights reserved.|