Oct. 23, 2003
Ohio State redshirt freshman Melissa Miller was named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Soccer Player of the Week on October 20th for her play in Conference games against Wisconsin and Minnesota. Miller tallied the game winning goal against the Badgers and was a key factor in OSU's shutout of Minnesota. For her efforts, Miller was also awarded a spot on the SoccerBuzz.com Elite Team of the Week. Miller is playing this season after sitting out in 2002 due to a knee injury which required surgery. Here is how Melissa answered some of our questions about taking a redshirt, receiving Conference honors, and the possibility of starting a new basketball team.
You were recognized as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and also named to the SoccerBuzz.com National Elite Team of the Week this week. In your freshman season, how does that feel?
It feels great. It's a great honor. I couldn't have done it without my teammates helping me back there. They're the ones that help me stand out.
An injury forced you to redshirt your first year at Ohio State, what were your feelings on having to sit out?
It was really sad, but I tried to look at the bright side, I get another year of soccer.
Do you think having to sit out helped you at all?
It did help me. My transition into playing and college wasn't as hard as some other people because I got that year to adjust and see everything that was going on.
After a 7-10-1 season last year, Ohio State went on to win the Big Ten soccer tournament and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament. This year, your team is 10-2-3 and ranked 16th in the country. Did the tournament momentum carry over into this season? What is the difference between last year and this year?
We have a really young team so I think some of it was the momentum carrying over. By winning the tournament we saw that we could do it this year. We just decided that we didn't want another season like last year and that we just wanted to have a different kind of season.
Your team is undefeated at home this season. How is the team feeling heading into the final home game versus Penn State Friday (October 24th) night?
It's exciting; everyone's really excited and looking forward to it. We're definitely going to be gunning for them.
You and (teammate) Danielle Dietrich are in the same class and played for the same soccer club team before both deciding on Ohio State. Was the decision something that you both thought about together, or was it just coincidence?
It just kind of worked out that way. I was looking at Ohio State and then I saw that she would be coming here, so I thought that was kind of cool.
Who has had the biggest influence on your soccer career?
That's hard to say, but probably my sister because we played together for a long time. She would always help me and pick me up when I thought I wasn't playing very well. And my teammates too, they have a big influence on me.
There are a few people on the Ohio State soccer team, including yourself, who used to play basketball in high school. Does anyone ever get a game going?
Yeah, we were just talking about that yesterday. We need to get a rec team together or something. I think some of us played once or twice last year, but we've definitely been talking about it more this year.