Lincoln – The top-seeded Nebraska soccer program heads to Champaign this week in its chase for another trophy, this time the 2013 Big Ten Tournament title. The Huskers will face the No. 8 seed Minnesota in the tournament’s third game at 4:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Illinois Soccer Stadium.
The Huskers claimed the 2013 Big Ten Conference title, their first regular-season championship since 2000, with a 3-1 Senior Day triumph over the Indiana Hoosiers last Friday. Goals from Mayme Conroy, Jaycie Johnson and even goalkeeper Emma Stevens lifted NU to the league championship on a wet and windy day in Lincoln.
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One Team. One Goal. BTC.
The preseason Big Ten coaches poll put Nebraska at No. 9 but the players had different plans. At the start of spring camp, the goal was to win the league as they ended each practice with the phrase “Big Ten Champs!” On Friday, the Huskers accomplished their goal with a 3-1 victory followed by an energetic and emotional trophy celebration.
The 18th-ranked Huskers (15-3-1, 10-1 Big Ten) are on a six-game win streak and have won 13 of its last 14 matches for the first time since 2002 when NU rattled off 22 of its first 23 matches. NU has now scored in 16 consecutive matches, its longest streak since 2000 when Nebraska scored in its first 23 contests. NU moved up one spot in the latest NCAA RPI Rankings released Monday afternoon.
The Scarlet and Cream are 12-0-1 when scoring 2 or more goals this season and 11-0-1 when scoring first. The Huskers have set the tone early in Big Ten matches and hold a 9-1 lead in first-half scoring in the conference, with the lone goal allowed at Wisconsin on Oct. 18 at the 30-minute mark.
Nebraska allowed just 20 goals in 19 matches during the regular season, outscoring opponents by a 41-20 margin. The NU defense has been impressive on its way to a 23-10 conference scoring advantage especially considering Big Ten opponents have had 27 more corner kick opportunities (67-39). In Big Ten action, NU has been outshot 195-148 but lead in shots on goal by a 68-64 margin, a true testament to the Nebraska defense as they routinely stonewall conference foes when quality scoring chances arise.
The Huskers have not outshot its opposition in the last 11 matches but the defensive unit has become a story on its own and a key part of Nebraska’s success this season. In the regular season, Nebraska won ten conference matches for the second time in school history (1999) and registered 15 wins for the first time since 2002.
This season is the first time with four conference shutouts since 2002 when the Big Red finished with 14 total shutouts, including 11 in the regular season. The six shutouts for the Huskers this year are the most since 2005, which included the postseason. The last time NU notched six regular-season shutouts was also 2002.
The Scarlet and Cream are 62-23-12 in nine seasons of action at the Nebraska Soccer Field and currently 18-13 in three seasons of Big Ten competition.
Johnson Blasts Huskers by PSU in 2OT
NU earned a memorable 3-2 double-overtime victory over then-No. 16 Penn State thanks to a Jaycie Johnson run and strike from 20 yards. The victory snapped Penn State’s 15-year Big Ten title reign and was NU’s first win over PSU in three tries.
Husker Dominant on Defense
Seniors Ari Romero (91.5 mpg), Maritza Hayes (played every second in 10 of last 11 matches) and Kylie Greischar (82.7 mpg) along with junior Sam Areman and sophomore Jaylyn Odermann have keyed the NU defense. Although these defenders rarely make it to the stat sheet, their contributions on the field have been a major factor on this year’s NU squad.
Stevens' Historic Season
NU senior goalkeeper Emma Stevens earned her 33rd career victory in net after posting three saves on Friday’s title-clinching win over Indiana for her single-season career-best 15th win of the year. More notably, Stevens capped the scoring for the Huskers with a dropkick that evaded the IU keeper on a high bounce that found the back of the net for the first score by a Nebraska keeper in school history.
On Oct. 20, Emma Stevens surpassed former Husker Erin Miller (239) to become the all-time leader in saves at Nebraska. The graduate student sits alone in first with 257 career stops. Stevens is near the top of several all-time NU goalkeeping categories, including second in minutes played (5,780), starts (64) and game played (68), while ranking fourth in wins (33) and sixth in shutouts (8.3).
Stevens has amassed a 0.90 goals-against average in Big Ten action allowing 10 goals in 11 matches. In road league matches, Stevens boasted an impressive 0.77 GAA stopping 29 shots in five matches at a 87.9 percent clip.
Husker Offensive Balance
Jordan Jackson – 8 G, 8 A, 24 Pts, 2 GW
Jaycie Johnson – 10 G, 2 A, 22 Pts, 5 GW
Mayme Conroy – 8 G, 1 A, 17 Pts, 5 GW
Katie Kraeutner – 5 G, 3 A, 13 Pts
Sydney Miramontez – 3 G, 2 A, 8 Pts, 1 GW
Caroline Gray – 2 G, 2 A, 6 Pts, 1 GW
Notable Nebraska Careers
Jordan Jackson – 80 GP, 34 G, 27 A, 95 Pts
Mayme Conroy – 56 GP, 23 G, 4 A, 50 Pts
Emma Stevens – 67 GP, 1 G, 1.59 GAA, 33 Wins, 8.3 Sho
Huskers Conference Tournament History
Nebraska has an 18-10 overall record in conference tournament matches, including five titles. Since 2003, the Huskers have gone 2-8, including a 1-0 loss last season to Ohio State in NU’s first Big Ten Tournament match.
The Huskers won in Champaign for the first time earlier this season on Sept. 29 with a 3-2 victory over Illinois. Prior to 2013, NU had lost its three previous trips to play the Illini, who host this year’s B1G Tournament.
Last Time Out vs. Minnesota
The No. 1 seed Huskers will face the No. 8 seed Gophers in the Quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska took down Minnesota 1-0 back on Oct. 20 in Falcon Heights. Jordan Jackson’s seventh goal of the year came in the 24th minute on a through ball from Katie Kraeutner for the only offense needed in the NU victory. Goalkeeper Emma Stevens turned away six shots as she became the all-time saves leader in school history during the tightly-contested matchup. Mayme Conroy led the Huskers with five shot attempts, while Jaycie Johnson put together three attempts with two on target.
Minnesota (11-6-1, 4-5-2 Big Ten) scored just eight goals in 11 conference matches. The Gophers are led by Katie Thyken who has notched a team-high seven goals, including two game-winners. Minnesota had a pair of big wins in the league this season with 1-0 victories over both Michigan and Penn State. The Gophers have yet to play a neutral-site contest this year.
Jackson, Seniors Finishing in Style
Jordan Jackson has been heating up as she has recorded goals in five of her last seven matches and notched points in seven of her last eight. Jackson’s 34th career tally moves her into solo eighth place among all-time Husker goal scorers, while her 27 assists is tied for seventh best in program history.
Jackson has earned a point in 12 of her last 16 matches and is third in conference matches with 17 points. On the all-time lists at Nebraska, Jackson is fifth in shots (256), sixth in shots on goal (128) as well as ninth in points (95) and 10th in game-winning goals (8) all-time at NU.
Back on Oct. 11 at Purdue, Jackson’s five-point output marked the fifth time Jackson has amassed five points in a single match during her career. The Overland Park, Kan. native recorded three assists in the 4-0 road victory for the second time in her career at Nebraska and is the fifth Husker to have three second-half helpers. The two-time all-conference honoree is the 17th Husker to earn at least three assists in one match.
Leading at the Break?
Nebraska is 206-5-5 all-time when leading at the half. In 31 all-time Big Ten Conference games, the Huskers have led at the half just 11 times, but are 8-0 this year in the conference holding halftime leads.
The Huskers only trailed for a total of 65:13 in 11 conference matches this season as NU was behind in just two matches during Big Ten play. In 1,731:41 of action this season, Nebraska trailed for just 249:03 in all 19 matches.
Big Ten Tournament
The Huskers will play in its second Big Ten Tournament starting next Wednesday, Nov. 6. First round matches will be streamed on the Big Ten’s Digital Network, while the semifinals and championship matches will be shown live on the Big Ten Network and BTN2Go.com.
The Last Time...
Won Conference Tournament - 2002
Qualified for NCAA Tournament - 2005
Hosted NCAA Tournament Match - 2005
Won 16 Matches - 2002
Won 17 Matches - 2001
Won 18+ Matches - 2000 (22)
Won 23 Matches - 1996