Emily Zurrer earned her second Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor of the season, becoming the first non-goalkeeper in Big Ten history to accomplish the feat.
Oct. 23, 2006
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Sophomore defender Emily Zurrer was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Monday for the second time this season, this time after Illinois defeated No. 17 Purdue and No. 21 Indiana with a pair of shutouts. She becomes the first non-goalkeeper to win multiple Defensive Player of the Week awards in one season after also earning co-Defensive Player of the Week laurels on Sept. 11. Zurrer was also named to TopDrawerSoccer's Team of the Week for her weekend efforts.
Zurrer led an Illini defense that allowed just six shots on goal in two matches over the weekend. Against the 17th-ranked Boilermakers, Zurrer made a multitude of sliding tackles and 1-on-1 stops, repeatedly chasing down All-Big Ten performer Jessica Okoroafo and Purdue's leading scorer, Parrissa Eyorokon, from behind to stifle scoring opportunities.
Two days later against the No. 21 Hoosiers, Zurrer showcased her ability in the air by heading away multiple scoring chances and shutting down Indiana's Christie Kotynski, who had scored all three of her goals this season off headers. The pair of shutouts gives the Illinois defense eight on the season, fifth-most in program history.
Zurrer and the Illini finish the Big Ten regular season on Friday with a 7 p.m. match at Iowa, which defeated the Hoosiers and tied Purdue last weekend. Illinois then travels to State College, Pa., for the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 2-5.