Otahkians upset 1-0 by Eastern Illinois in OVC Tournament Championship.
Nov. 11, 2001
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The Eastern Illinois Panthers got a goal from sophomore superstar Beth Liesen in the 7th minute of the game and made the goal stand up as EIU upset host and number one seed Southeast Missouri State and earn the conference's first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
EIU (14-5) avenged a 1-0 home field loss to Southeast from earlier in this season, their only conference defeat of the year. The goal was the first of the season scored by an OVC opponent against Southeast Missouri who had previously outscored OVC opponents 18-0 in six games.
Following the early score, Southeast (16-2) had several good chances to score in the first frame. A Southeast goal by Erin Slattery was disallowed after the Otahkians were called for an offside violation. Later, an Erika Todd attempt right in front of the goal was played perfectly by the Panther defense and kicked away preventing the Otahkians from tying the game.
Southeast managed several good chances over the games final 15 minutes, and went a man up when EIU's Lindsay Rogers received her second yellow card of the game and was ejected.
For the game, Southeast outshot EIU 13-9 and had a 7-1 advantage on corners. EIU committed a game-high 20 fouls, including three yellow cards and a red card.
The Panthers snapped several of Southeast's streaks, including a 13 game home winning streak. Ironically, it was Eastern who last won at Houck Stadium on October 13, 2001. EIU also snapped Southeast's steak of 25 consecutive games with a goal.
Southeast senior goalkeeper Beth Guccione ended her career as the number two all-time NCAA leader in shutout percentage (.722) for a single season and will be tied for third place all-time in solo shutouts in a season (13).
EIU goalkeeper Lindsay Dechert shutout the ninth ranked defense in the country by making two saves on the 13 Southeast shots and making several great plays that did not show up in the box score.
Although they possessed a 16-2 record, the Southeast Otahkians will most likely not receive an automatic bid due to a weak team and conference RPI. Southeast closes its season with 16 wins, the most ever in a season for a OVC team.
Southeast should be strong again next season, as only two seniors that played this season will be leaving the team.
EIU's Devon Bissell who was solid in the midfield all-tournament was named the tournament's most valuable player. She is joined on the all-tournament team by Rachel Dorfman, McKenzie Smith and Cara LeMaster.
2001 Ohio Valley Conference All-Tournament Team
Devon Bissell, EIU (Most Valuable Player)