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Women's Soccer Releases 2002 Schedule

Southeast bulks up schedule with big names including Arkansas, Kentucky and Indiana.

2001 OVC Defensive Player of the Year Jenny Hamilton will return to co-captain a team that led the nation in defense a season ago.

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May 16, 2002

2002 Otahkian Soccer Schedule

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Coming off not only the best season in the short history of the school's women's soccer program but also in Ohio Valley Conference history, the Southeast Missouri State Otahkian soccer team has bulked up its 2002 schedule with several powerhouse schools in order to avoid missing an at-large bid should they not win the 2002 OVC Tournament this November.

Last season, Southeast compiled a 16-2 record on their way to claiming their first ever OVC regular season championship. But a 1-0 loss in the OVC Tournament Final left the Otahkians one step short of their goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament. And due to a somewhat weak schedule, the team was denied an at-large berth although they were a Soccer Buzz bubble team.

This season, several big name teams have been added to the schedule including Southeastern Conference schools Arkansas and Kentucky, both of which will be road contests for the Otahkians. Southeast will also travel to in-state rival Southwest Missouri, a team the Otahks have not defeated in two prior meetings. Southeast also pays a return trip to another Missouri Valley opponent, Creighton, a team the Otahkians defeated twice in the 2001 season, including a 1-0 win at Houck Stadium and a 2-1 overtime victory in St. Louis. The Otahkians two other non-league road games will be at Arkansas State and first-year program Drake.

Southeast starts the season by hosting its second annual Southeast Tournament over Labor Day Weekend as they will battle Indiana State and Belmont in the event. Big 10 foe Indiana University will also come to Houck Stadium for the first meeting between the two schools, as last season's game was cancelled due to the September 11 tragedy. Conference USA's Memphis, a team Southeast topped in a preseason exhibition game last year, will also travel to Cape Girardeau along with Oral Roberts and Lipscomb.

The OVC will grow by one team this season as Austin Peay hosts soccer for the first-time. The Lady Govs, who are coached by former Southeast assistant Kelley Poole, will play at Houck Stadium along with Tennessee-Martin and defending OVC Tournament Champion Eastern Illinois, who's championship victory last season ended the Otahkians 13-game home winning streak. OVC road contests will include Tennessee Tech, Morehead State and Murray State.

"Our schedule has taken another step up," said Head Coach Heather Nelson, the 2001 OVC Coach of the Year. "We have several traditional powerhouses on the schedule and it is critical for us to earn recognition in our region to give us an edge in case we do not win the OVC Tournament. Hopefully it won't come down to that, as we have our sights set on the automatic bid to showcase our team against the top Division I programs in the country."


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