TULSA, Okla.-The Golden Eagles (5-10-1, 2-2-1 Summit League) close out the 2011 regular season with a match against league-leading Western Illinois (10-5-1, 4-1) as they battle for a position in the Summit League Tournament on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Golden Eagles are currently in a three way tie for third place in the conference with IPFW and IUPUI. ORU holds the head-to-head tie breaker over IUPUI, so a win would likely give the Golden Eagles the no.2 seed in the tournament. However, a loss could eliminate them from tournament play, with only the top four teams advancing. The Golden Eagles control their own destiny, but everything is at stake in this must-win match.
ORU is led by junior Aaron Birk and Senior Jarrett Hamilton, both with six goals on the season. Hamilton will be honored at midfield before the game along with senior midfielder Josh Gomillion as part of the senior day ceremonies.
Freshman Nick Petolick will start in the biggest game of his college career to this point. He has 59 saves with one shutout on the season.
Western Illinois, who has already clinched the no.1 seed in the tournament, will look to play spoiler for the Golden Eagles. The Leathernecks are led by senior Daniel Lewis with four goals. Senior Keeper Andy Ryan has been the story for WIU all season, allowing a mere 12 goals while collecting 72 saves. Ryan also leads the Summit League with eight shutouts.