Huskers Open Postseason Play with Ohio State - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Huskers Open Postseason Play with Ohio State

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After missing out on the Big Ten Tournament a year ago, the Nebraska soccer team (7-11-1, 4-7-0 Big Ten) makes its return to the postseason as the No. 7 seed at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, where it will face the No. 2 seed Ohio Buckeyes (13-4-1, 8-2-1 Big Ten). 

 

Wednesday will mark the Huskers first neutral site game of the year, while NU is 4-5 on the season away from the Nebraska Soccer Field, including a 3-3 record during Big Ten play.

 

The Huskers and Buckeyes previously met in Lincoln this season on Oct. 14, with OSU posting a 4-0 victory to even the all-time series. Nebraska won the first ever meeting between the two programs, 3-2, last season in Columbus.

 

The Huskers and Buckeyes will play the third game of the tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 31, when the two squads take to the field at 3:30 p.m. (CT). The tournament is being hosted this year at Armstrong Field on the campus of Indiana University.

 

No. 4 Minnesota and No. 5 Illinois start the tournament at 9:30 a.m., while No.1 Penn State and No. 8 Iowa play at 12:30 p.m. Following Nebraska's game, No. 3 Michigan and No. 6 Wisconsin conclude the first day of the tournament at 6:30 p.m. If the Huskers win their opening-round game, they would face the winner of Michigan/Wisconsin winner.

 

All games on the first day will be streamed live on the Big Ten Digital Network (BTN.com), while the semifinals and finals will be shown on both the Big Ten Network and BTN2Go.com.

 

Looking at Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes enter the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed after finishing two points ahead of Michigan.

 

The Buckeyes hold a 8-11-4 (.435) record all time at the Big Ten Tournament and have captured a pair of conference tournament titles (2002, 2004).

 

Last season they entered as the No. 7 seed and lost to No. 2 seed Illinois on penalty kicks. The Fighting Illini went on to win the tournament.

 

The 2012 Buckeyes are led offensively by Tiffany Cameron, who led the Big Ten in shots with 77 and ranked second during the regular season in goals with 18, one shy of Golden Gopher Taylor Uhl's 19 goals.

 

Cameron added five assists to rank second in the league in points with 41. Lauren Grandberg also ranked in the Big Ten top-10 in points, as she ranked eighth with 24 points on the season (8 goals, 8 assists).

 

In goal, Jillian McVicker has been as solid as they come with a .900 save percentage. The freshman goalie has 36 saves and allowed just four goals in 15 games over 733:37 of action.

 

Back in the Postseason

After not qualifying for the postseason for just the second time in program history last season, the Huskers will make their 15th conference tournament appearance in the past 17 seasons.

 

While a member of the Big 12 Conference from 1996 to 2010, the only year the Huskers did qualify for the conference tournament was 2007, when they finished tied for 10th.

 

Young Fire Power

Of the Huskers' 27 goals this season, 24 of the goals have been scored by freshmen or sophomores, including six from NU's freshmen class.

 

Senior Jordan Jackson and junior Stacy Bartels are the only juniors or seniors to score a goal in 2012.

 

Sophomore Mayme Conroy leads the team with 14 goals after scoring one as a true freshman last season.

 

Freshmen Katie Kraeutner and Jaylyn Odermann, along with sophomores Caroline Gray and Hannah Dittmar are tied for second on the team with two goals each, while freshmen Alex Massey and Caroline Flynn have each scored one goal.

 

Bartels has scored two goals on the year, with Jackson adding one.

 

Charting Saves

Junior goalie Emma Stevens entered the 2012 season ranked eighth on the Huskers all-time saves list with 110 saves.

 

The Corona, Calif., native moved to third place on the career list with 181 saves. She recently moved ahead of Jamie Klages (2005-06), who now sits in fourth on the list with 156 career saves.

 

Next up on the list is 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Karina LeBlanc, who totaled 206 saves during her four-year career from 1997 to 2000. Erin Miller holds the NU record with 239 career saves.

 

Earlier this season, Stevens set a personal best with 204:54 minutes of scoreless play in net over a four-game span. The streak started against Baylor on Friday, Aug. 31 and ended during the Northern Colorado game on Sunday, Sept. 16.

 

She Can Score

After scoring just one goal as a true freshman in 2011, sophomore Mayme Conroy has become the Huskers' top offensive threat with a team-high 14 goals.

 

Her 14 goals are the most for a NU sophomore since Morgan Marlborough notched 18 goals in 2010.

 

Fire Away

The Huskers have produced 30 shots twice this season. Only Penn State and Illinois have produced more shots in a game this season, as both teams have notched 31 shots in a game.

 

Nebraska first booted 30 shots in a 4-0 win over Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 8 and then did it again in a 1-1 double overtime tie with Northern Colorado on Sept. 16.

 

Last season, the Huskers also put up 30 shots in a 8-1 win over Northern Arizona on Sept. 4, 2011. Prior to the game with the Lumberjacks, the last time the Huskers posted 30 or more shots was on Sept. 21, 2008, when they posted 31 shots in a 2-1 win over Stephen F. Austin.

 

Don't Fall Behind

When the Huskers trail at halftime the outcome has not been good, as Nebraska is 0-6-1 on the year when trailing at intermission.

 

The only time the Huskers didn't lose when trailing at halftime was on Sept. 16 when they played Northern Colorado to a 1-1 double-overtime tie. The Bears struck in the first half, before Caroline Flynn tied the game in the second half.

 

NU is 3-1-0 on the season when leading at halftime and 4-4-0 when the teams are tied.

 

The Huskers only loss this season when leading at halftime came at home to Purdue on Sept. 21. NU led 1-0 at the half, before the Boilermakers tied the game in the second half and then won in overtime.

 

New Faces

All nine of Nebraska's true freshmen have seen action this season, including four who have started.

 

Katie Kraeutner and Jaylyn Odermann have each started all 19 games this season, while Caroline Flynn has started 17 games and Alex Massey has started three games.

 

Romero's Return

After missing the first five games of the season while playing for the Mexican National team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan, junior Ari Romero returned to the Husker lineup on Sunday, Sept. 2, and started in NU's 2-1 win at Cincinnati.

 

In three games during group play at the tournament, Romero started each game and played all 270 minutes of the three contests. She also led the Mexicans in assists with two.

 

Romero and her teammates were one of eight teams to reach the second stage, but were eliminated in the first round following a 1-0 loss to Nigeria.

 

It marked the second straight U-20 World Cup that Mexico had advanced to the second stage, after failing to survive the group phase in 2002 (Canada), 2006 (Russia) and 2008 (Chile).

 

Olympic Glory

Former Huskers Brittany Timko and Karina LeBlanc each earned a bronze medal on Thursday, Aug. 9 at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as Canada defeated France, 1-0, in the women's soccer bronze-medal game at City of Coventry Stadium.

 

The win was Canada's first in a traditional team sport since the men's basketball team won silver at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

 

After losing to France 4-0 in last year's World Cup, the Canadians made the most of their first appearance in the medal round after finishing eighth in their Olympic debut four years ago in Beijing.

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