Oct. 18, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A pair of Ohio State men’s soccer student-athletes were honored by the Big Ten Conference Monday as senior forward Justin Cook was named the Offensive Player of the Week and junior goalkeeper Ray Burse Jr. was named the co-Defensive Player of the Week. The duo was selected for their efforts in leading the Buckeyes to a 1-0-1 record last week, including a 3-0 win at No. 20 Penn State Sunday as Ohio State (6-4-2, 3-0-0 Big Ten) remained the only undefeated team in the Big Ten standings and to its first win over a ranked team since a 3-2 overtime win at No. 5 St. John’s in 2001.
Cook (Sr., Winter Springs, Fla./Oviedo) scored all three goals in the win Sunday to collect his first career hat trick. He has 29 goals in his Buckeye career, which ranks third all-time in the OSU record book, and he leads Ohio State in scoring this season with eight goals and three assists for 19 points. The conference weekly honor is the third of his career.
Burse (Jr., Prospect, Ky./St. Xavier) tied an Ohio State record Sunday with his fourth consecutive shutout. He had a pair of saves in the match to go along with two saves Wednesday in Ohio State’s 0-0 draw vs. Louisville.
“I would like to thank the Big Ten for recognizing the performances of Justin and Ray,” John Bluem, Ohio State head coach, said. “Ray had an outstanding week and even though the award is an individual honor, he led our defense to a great team effort. For Justin, he had an exceptional game. He is a very difficult player to mark and with a hat trick, the first of his career, it is a well-deserved award.”
Burse’s shutout string began Oct. 3 with a 1-0 win over Wisconsin, for which he was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, as well. Burse shares the honor this week with Northwestern goalkeeper Justin Pines. This season, Burse owns a 4-1-1 record and a 0.74 goals against average with 28 saves. The win Sunday marked the 73rd for Bluem at Ohio State, establishing a new school record.
Ohio State will return to action at 4 p.m. Sunday as the Buckeyes travel to Oakland. Ohio State returns home Sunday to face Indiana at 2:30 p.m. in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.