Redhawks lead OVC in first-team selections

Friday, November 4, 2005

Lindsay Pickering made a major impact during her first season with the Southeast Missouri State soccer team.

That was acknowledged in a big way on Thursday as Pickering, a junior goalkeeper, was named the Ohio Valley Conference defensive player of the year in voting by the league's head soccer coaches and sports information directors.

In addition, Southeast had the most first-team all-OVC selections, with senior midfielder Lisa Schweppe and senior defender Erin Hartmann joining Pickering.

"All three are certainly deserving of the honors," said Southeast coach Heather Nelson, whose squad plays host Eastern Illinois at 10 a.m. today in the semifinals of the OVC Tournament. "They are our leaders."

Pickering has already been a two-year starter for the Southeast softball team, and last season she led the Redhawks in hitting with a .343 average.

A former standout soccer player in high school, Pickering decided to also play that sport this year -- and a wise move it turned out to be.

Pickering leads the OVC in shutouts with 11, while also ranking among the league leaders in goals-against average (0.58), save percentage (83.6) and saves (56). Pickering has the second-most shutouts for a single season in the program's seven-year history.

"Lindsay has just been a tremendous addition to our program," Nelson said. "She has really stabilized the [goalkeeper] position."

Schweppe is tied for the OVC lead in goals with nine -- the fourth-highest single-season total in program history -- and she also leads the Redhawks in points with 20, which ranks fifth all-time at Southeast.

With 19 career goals, Schweppe ranks third in school history, and her 51 career points are also third. In addition, Schweppe has appeared in more games (78) than any women's soccer player at Southeast.

"Lisa has had a tremendous career, and she's finishing it with a great senior season," Nelson said.

Hartmann, a Jackson High School product, was a leader on a defense that has allowed just 11 goals in 19 games this season. She also scored her first career goal this year, and added her first career assist.

Pickering also made the OVC's all-newcomer team, along with Southeast freshman midfielder Casey Kraft. Kraft is second on the Redhawks with seven goals, and she is tied for second with 17 points.

Samford, which won its third straight OVC regular-season title this year, captured the two major postseason awards as Todd Yelton won coach of the year and Rebecca Bohler was named player of the year.

Redhawks ready for EIU

Third-seeded Southeast will attempt to end second-seeded Eastern Illinois' bid for its fifth straight OVC Tournament title when the squads square off in today's semifinal round in Charleston, Ill.

The Redhawks (13-5-1) and Panthers (8-9-2) battled to a 0-0 double-overtime tie during the regular season in Cape Girardeau.

"We've had some great games with Eastern Illinois over the years and I expect another one," Nelson said.

Today's other semifinal will pit top-seeded Samford (14-3-2) against fourth-seeded Murray State (8-10-2).

The title match is set for noon Sunday. It will be nationally televised by ESPNU, and Cape Girardeau station UPN The Beat (Channel 33) will carry the live telecast. The champion earns an NCAA Tournament berth.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: