Laura Freeman earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors
Oct. 17, 2000
Champaign, Ill. -
October 17, 2000 Ultimate sacrifice for the good of the team is sometimes hard for young players to grasp. Tuesday that dedication was rewarded as Illinois sophomore forward Laura Freeman has been named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week.
Freeman has appeared in 13 of Illinois' 15 games this year, but has yet to make a start. Freeman often is inserted at the end of the half to give the team a spark and usually sees significant minutes in the second half.
The sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., played a major role in key victories over Purdue and Indiana. Illinois Head Coach Tricia Taliaferro has used Freeman as a fresh body late in the half to take advantage of some weary opponents. That worked Friday when Freeman came off the bench with seven minutes to play in the first half vs. Purdue, split a pair of defenders and scored the Illini's third goal.
Freeman added two goals on Sunday against Indiana. She scored just inside the right post midway through the second half, then punched home a corner kick from teammate Kristen Holman a few minutes later.
"One of the signs of a successful team is players who understand their role and are effective at doing their job," said Taliaferro. "We are a very deep team. To have someone with the skill of a Laura Freeman, who is hungry and has the ability to score goals, is a valuable asset. Laura gives 110 percent at all times."
The goals were the first three for Freeman on the year. She had three goals and a team-leading seven assists last season, while starting 11 of the Illini's 22 games.
Freeman shares the honor with Sarah Lynch of Iowa.