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Soccer Prepares For Shot at NCAA Berth

Otahkians will challenge EIU for OVC Crown at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Senior Nichole Thiele, Southeast's all-time leading scorer, will play her final home Sunday when Southeast challenges EIU for the OVC Tournament Title and a NCAA berth.

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Nov. 10, 2001

OVC Championship Game Notes in PDF Format
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Southeast (16-1) vs. Eastern Illinois (13-5)
OVC Tournament Championship
November 11, 2001, 2:00 p.m.
Houck Stadium (10,000), Cape Girardeau, Mo.
All-Time Series: EIU leads 3-1.

About Southeast: By defeating Murray State for the second time in less than a week, the Southeast Missouri women's soccer team moved within one game of becoming the first OVC team to make an NCAA Tournament appearance. They can accomplish that feat by defeating rival Eastern Illinois in Sunday's Championship game at Houck Stadium.

On paper, this should be the best game in the OVC this season. When these two teams met in Charleston earlier this season, Southeast pulled through with a 1-0 victory on a very cold and wet day at muddy Lakeside Field. The victory marked the first ever win for Southeast over EIU in four tries. On that day Southeast GK Beth Guccione made a season-high 10 saves and sophomore Erika Todd scored the game's lone goa.l

This time the advantage may be tipped into the Otahks favor, considered Southeast has won 13 straight games at home, losing last to EIU last year. In EIU's favor, the only game Southeast has lost all season was a Sunday afternoon contest to Western Illinois earlier this season. No matter which team wins, they will gain the first automatic bid for the OVC in the conference's four-year history. The NCAA will announce first-round pairings on Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. central time on Fox Sports South. The loser, unfortunately, will not receive an at-large berth, in all likeliness.

On the record book watch, senior goalkeeper Beth Guccione is now guaranteed to rank second all-time in shutout percentage for a season, no matter what happens to Southeast the rest of the season. Her 13 solo shutouts will also rank her tied for third with four other GK's all-time trailing only Siri Mullinix (20 w/ UNC in 1998) and Emily Oleksiuk (15 w/ Penn State in 2000). One more shutout would put her in third place outright.

Southeast's 16 victories this season are the most ever by an OVC team, eclipsing EIU's 15 victories from a season ago.


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