Saturday-Sunday, September 1-2, 2018, 2 p.m. CDT (3 p.m. EDT) - Neis Soccer Field in Bloomington, Illinois
This Weekend's Preview: The No. 8-ranked Ohio Northern women's soccer program raises the curtain on its 2018 campaign as they compete in the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational at Neis Soccer Field in Bloomington, Illinois … The Polar Bears are scheduled to play reigning Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champions Hope (Mich.) Saturday afternoon and their tournament hosts, No. 23-ranked Illinois Wesleyan, on Sunday … Both match times are set for 2 p.m. CDT (3 p.m. EDT) … Last season, Northern claimed both the Ohio Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles while posting an impressive 20-2-2 overall record … The team also received a bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament where they made their first-ever appearance in an Elite 8 match … Fifteenth-year head coach Mark Batman and his staff welcome back 17 former varsity letter winners, six All-Conference nominees, and three All-Great Lakes Region honorees to this year's squad … Junior goalkeeper Meagan Grierson (Miamisburg), junior midfielder Haley Moses (Mason), and junior forward Rose Nienaber (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) each received First-Team All-Conference honors and were named to the All-Great Lakes Region squads … Reigning OAC Freshman of the Year Jenna Fuller (Countryside, Ill./Lyons Township), junior midfielder Hannah Martin (Mason/Mount Notre Dame), and sophomore defender Sydney Leshnak (Liberty Township/Mount Notre Dame) also received All-OAC nods … ONU's roster features two three-time letter winners in seniors Sarah Puntel (Strongsville) and Kelleigh Pier (Mason, Mich.) … Fuller returns as the team's leader in goals (12), assists (12), and points (36) from the 2017 season … Hope (Mich.) returns 19 letter winners to this season's squad … Senior forward Grace Bubin returns to the team after scoring 11 goals last season to top the Flying Dutch … Sophomore goalkeeper Jordanne Ellingboe recorded 17 wins and allowed just 10 goals in her first season during 2017 … Illinois Wesleyan returns 14 letter winners to the 2018 roster, including sophomore forward/midfielder Cameron Hindel who led the team last season in goals (14) and points (32) while tying for the team lead with four assists … Junior forward Flower Edington also returns after finishing second on the team with seven goals last season.
ONU Returning Statistical Leaders (2017)
Series Record: The Polar Bears are 2-3 all-time against Hope (Mich.), having lost the most recent matchup 3-0 back in 2015. The meeting will be the first time that the two teams have competed at a neutral site. Meanwhile, Northern is a perfect 2-0 against Illinois Wesleyan all-time, which includes a 2-0 triumph over the Titans last season in the NCAA Tournament.
Head Coach Mark Batman: Batman enters his 15th season with the ONU women's soccer program. He sports an overall coaching record of 185-76-26 and a .690 win percentage.