Nov. 23, 1999
NKU PREPARES TO MEET TOP-RANKED FPC
Norse (22-2) to play No. 1 Franklin Pierce in national semifinals
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University womens soccer team, which defeated Mercyhurst (Pa.) College, 3-1, in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals, will face No. 1 Franklin Pierce (N.H.) College (18-1) at 11 a.m. on Dec. 2 at Miami Shores, Fla., in the NCAA Division II Final Four.
The Final Four is being hosted by Barry (Fla.) University (16-2-1), which will meet Cal Poly Pomona (17-5) in the other semifinal at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 2. The national championship match is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Dec. 4.
NKU (ranked No. 7 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll) enters the NCAA Division II Final Four with 10 consecutive victories, and the Norse have allowed just two goals during that streak.
THREE NKU PLAYERS EARN ALL-REGION HONORS: Betsy Moore, Lauren Piening and Tricia Ruark - have been named first team All-Central Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Moore, a sophomore forward and a graduate of McAuley High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, leads NKU with 21 goals and 14 assists. She also was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year this season.
Piening, a sophomore goalie and a graduate of Anderson High School, has recorded a 0.49 goals against average and has set an NKU record with 16 shutouts this year.
Ruark, a sophomore midfielder and a graduate of Seton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, has scored 14 goals and added eight assists this year.
MORE ON MOORE: NKU sophomore forward Betsy Moore has shattered the school record for goals this season with 21, and she has scored at least two goals in a match six times this season. Moore scored three goals in a match twice this season, and she had four assists to set a school record during an 11-0 win at Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne.
PIENINGS STREAK: Prior to the 3-1 win against Mercyhurst, NKU goalie Lauren Piening had recorded eight consecutive shutouts. For the year Piening has allowed just 12 goals and has 87 saves. She also has a 0.49 goals against average.
RUARK BECOMES SCORING THREAT: A year ago as a freshman, Tricia Ruark did not score a goal. This season, Ruark is No. 2 on the team with 14 goals and she also has eight assists. Ruark did record 12 assists a year ago.
ABOUT COACH SHEEHAN: Just as he did as a high school girls' soccer coach at St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio, prior to taking the NKU womens soccer head coaching position, Bob Sheehan has built a powerhouse with the Norse. At St. Ursula, Sheehan compiled a 195-48-28 record in 13 seasons and won two Ohio state championships.
In his three seasons at NKU, Sheehan owns a 45-16-3 (.727 percent) record and has won two GLVC championships.
NORSE STREAKS: NKU opened the season with 12 consecutive victories, and then lost two straight road matches to Southern Indiana (2-0) and Southern Illinois at Edwardsville (3-1). The Norse own 10 consecutive wins since the losses to USI and SIUE.
ABOUT FRANKLIN PIERCE: The Ravens enter the NCAA Division II Final Four with an 18-1 record, and they are ranked No. 1 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll. Franklin Pierce has won 12 consecutive matches going into the Final Four, and the Ravens only loss of the season was a 2-1 setback to Stonehill (Mass.).
Franklin Pierce is led by senior forward Minna Mustonen, who has scored 31 goals and added 13 assists for a total of 75 points. The Ravens also feature freshman forward Angela Verdoes, who has scored 20 goals and recorded a team-leading 22 assists.
The Ravens advanced to the Final Four with wins against Merrimack (3-1) and Lock Haven (3-1). In the win against Lock Haven, Mustonen scored a pair of goals to lead Franklin Pierce.
NKU and Franklin Pierce have never met in women's soccer. The two teams have no common opponents this season.