Oct. 4, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr. has been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Burse (Jr., Prospect, Ky./St. Xavier) collected a career-high seven saves Sunday in leading the Buckeyes to a 1-0 shutout over Wisconsin in both team’s Big Ten opener.
The match was Ohio State’s only contest last week and improves the Buckeyes’ record to 4-4-1 overall and to 1-0-0 in the Big Ten.
“I am very pleased for Ray because he had an outstanding game,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “He turned away several close shots and handled all the duties of a goalkeeper during the match. He directed our defense to the shutout.”
After posting three saves in the first half, Burse had four athletic and dramatic saves in the second half. He went horizontal into the upper left corner of the net for a pair of saves in the 61st and 64th minutes and his one-handed deflection of a Badger shot with one second remaining in the match sealed the win for the Buckeyes.
The shutout was Burse’s first of the season and improves his season record to 2-1. He owns a 1.43 goals-against average and has totaled 15 saves. The player of the week honor is the first of Burse’s career.
“This should do a great deal to help Ray’s confidence,” Bluem said. “Entering conference play now, hopefully he’ll continue to play well every day in practice and in games.”
Ohio State will return to action at 2:30 p.m. Sunday as the Buckeyes host Michigan State in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.