Michael Benson: September 2011 Archives


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Six Huskie teams were in action during the last full week of September, including volleyball opening MAC action at home and football closing up their non-conference slate against Cal Poly.

Football: Northern Illinois got back on track Saturday with a convincing 47-30 victory over Cal Poly. The Huskie offense set season-highs in first downs (33), rushing yards (355) and total yards (542), while the defense only allowed seven points in the first half to help NIU to a 34-7 halftime advantage. During the game, quarterback Chandler Harnish broke George Bork's 48-year record of touchdowns accounted for when he hit Perez Ashford on a three-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter.

Volleyball: The Huskies split their conference-opening matches over the weekend at Victor E. Court. NIU won only their second conference opener in 10 years on Friday with a 3-0 sweep of Central Michigan, extending their win streak to four and stopping CMU's win streak at four. That Huskie win streak, though, was snapped on Saturday night, as Eastern Michigan left DeKalb with a 3-1 victory over NIU.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois improved to 7-1 on the season Saturday with a 1-0 win over the Drake Bulldogs. The lone goal of the game came from the foot of James Stevenson, who pushed a shot past Drake goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec in the 26th minute. Jordan Godsey was again stellar in net with seven saves on the day.

Women's Soccer: NIU fought long and hard on Friday and Sunday, but lost both matches on their MAC opening weekend. The Huskies welcomed conference favorite Toledo to DeKalb on Friday and took them to overtime before falling 1-0 on an overtime goal by the Rockets. Their struggles continued on Sunday, as they dropped a 3-0 decision to Ball State.

Men's Golf: The Northern Illinois men's golf team headed to southern California for the Saint Mary's Invitational on Monday and Tuesday, where they finished tied for 13th with Pacific. Bryce Emory led NIU with a +10, 226 to finish tied for 31st overall, while Nick Schiavi was tied for 33rd with a +11, 227 performance.

Men's Tennis:
The Huskies headed to Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Invitational over the weekend. Axel Lagerlof highlighted NIU's weekend by advancing to the A Bracket finals before falling to Drake's Anis Ghorbel 6-2, 6-2. The Swede also won the doubles consolation bracket, teaming up with Max Phillips to go 2-1 in the doubles side.

The Huskies will wrap up September and begin October this week with a host of competitions. Both soccer team's will be in action Friday through Sunday, while the women's golf team hosts the NIU Huskie Classic Sunday and Monday.


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Tomei_Ryan.JPGOne day after his addition to the staff was announced, Huskie wrestling volunteer assistant coach Ryan Tomei talked to Takedown Wrestling's Scott Casber about joining Northern Illinois and his days at Pittsburgh, among other topics.

Ryan Tomei talks to national writer Scott Casber on Takedown Radio


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It was an eventful week in Huskie athletics, as six teams were in action during the past week. The main event, of course, was the Soldier Field Showdown II between NIU and No. 7 Wisconsin, where 41,068 people watched the Huskies and Badgers play inside the historic Chicago stadium.

Football: Keyed by 384 yards of total offense from QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin defeated Northern Illinois, 49-7, at Soldier Field. The Huskie offense, meanwhile, could only manage 237 yards of total offense against the stout UW defense. During the game, Dr. Kenneth and Ellen Chessick made a $3 million gift to Northern Illinois Athletics that will name the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Indoor Facility. The gift is the largest ever made to NIU Athletics and the second largest ever made to the university.

Volleyball: Northern Illinois won their second and third straight matches over the weekend, as they returned to Victor E. Court to face UIC and South Florida. On Friday night, the Huskies doused the in-state rival Flames in a 3-0 sweep, as they outhit UIC .371-.103. On Sunday afternoon, NIU moved to 3-0 against Big East teams with a 3-0 win over the USF Bulls. On the season, eight of NIU's 11 wins have come by sweeps.

Men's Soccer: The No. 13 Huskies went down to the wire twice over the weekend at the Northwestern Lakeside Classic, encountering different results both times. On Friday, NIU was shocked in overtime by Xavier, who used an overtime marker to defeat the Huskies, 2-1. Northern got back on track Sunday afternoon, though, as Gael Rivera's overtime goal sent the Huskies home with a 2-1 win over Cal-Davis.

Women's Soccer: The Huskies turned up the defense in two home matches over the weekend at the NIU Soccer Complex. On Tuesday, NIU outshot Eastern Illinois, 24-7, but was unable to reach the back of the net in a 0-0 tie with the Panthers. NIU would redeem themselves for Sunday's Senior Day festivities with a dominating 2-0 shutout of Loyola to earn their first win of the season.

Women's Golf: The Northern Illinois women's golf team teed off on their 2011 fall season with two tournaments in neighboring states. On Monday and Tuesday, the Huskies took fourth place at the Green Bay Invitational in Green Bay, Wis., with Katie Kuhn leading all Huskies with a total of 149. The squad returned to action over the weekend at the Cardinal Classic in Munice, Ind. with an eighth place finish.

Men's Tennis:
Northern Illinois began their fall schedule over the weekend in River Forest, Ill., at the River Forest Collegiate Invitational. Leading NIU on the courts were Maksym Bartiuk and Axel Lagerlof, who both emerged from singles competition undefeated.

With the men's golf team currently in action in sunny California, six teams will be in action over the next week, including football hosting Cal Poly Saturday afternoon and women's soccer and volley each hosting a pair of matches in DeKalb.


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The Huskies went through a busy week, as seven teams were in action during the past seven days. Among the highlights include men's soccer staying undefeated, along women's tennis and men's golf kicking off their fall seasons.

Football: Northern Illinois racked up 462 yards of total offense and 42 points on the Kansas defense, but it was not enough as the Jayhawks used a last-second touchdown pass to top the Huskies, 45-42, in Lawrence, Kan. Chandler Harnish finished the game with 315 yards on 27-of-33 passing and two touchdowns, in addition to 89 yards on 11 carries and a career-best three touchdowns on the ground.

Volleyball: The Huskie volleyball squad went 2-1 over the weekend in Texas with wins over Lamar and Stephen F. Austin. NIU extended their win streak to six on Thursday with a 3-0 sweep of the Lamar Cardinals. That streak, however, was snapped at the hands of the Texas A&M Aggies, who stayed undefeated with a 3-1 win over the Huskies in the Ladyjack Invitational opener.Northern Illinois rebounded, though, by downing Stephen F. Austin, 3-1.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois captured the NIU adidas Invitational title over the weekend with a pair of wins at the NIU Soccer Complex. The Huskies opened things up Friday with a tight 1-0 victory over Valparaiso in which freshman Isaac Kannah netted the game-winner in the 85th minute. Things were not so tight on Sunday, though, as NIU used a pair of goals in each half to sink the Portland Pilots, 4-0.

Women's Soccer: Northern's women's soccer team hung with national-power Wisconsin for most of the match Thursday, but it was not enough as the Huskies fell to the Badgers, 2-0. NIU was able to withstand Wisconsin's 23 shots with excellent defense, while goalie Amy Carr made six saves.

Men's Golf: The Huskie men's golf squad kicked off their fall schedule Saturday and Sunday with the Northern Intercollegiate at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. After finishing second after the first day, NIU ultimately claimed eighth place as a team. Bryce Emory led all Huskies with a 226, +13 total to finish tied for 22nd, while Paul Hammerschmidt was one shot behind in 25th.

Women's Tennis:
The Huskies opened their 2011 fall schedule Friday and Saturday, as they hosted the NIU Invitational. Haley Dekkinga starred for NIU, as she went 2-1 in the Black singles bracket, while teaming up with Nelle Youel to win the Huskie doubles bracket championship.

Cross Country: Northern Illinois returned home to the NIU North 40 Saturday morning, as they took sixth place at the NIU Open. Courtney Oldenburg led the charge for NIU, placing 11th overall with a time of 19:07.81 on the 5K course. Claire McAuley placed 39th with a clip of 20:31.81, while Alexis Capps crossed the finish line at 21:31.72 - good for 60th.

Things only get busier for the Huskies, as women's golf gets underway Monday at the Green Bay Invitational. In addition, football hosts Wisconsin in the Soldier Field Showdown II, while women's soccer and volleyball hosts matches in DeKalb.


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The Labor Day weekend was a busy one for Huskie athletics, as five teams were in action during the long weekend. During the week, the Huskies finished 7-1-1 in competition, while volleyball won the Bluejay Invitational in Omaha, Neb., and men's soccer took the Michigan Invitational title.

Football: The Huskies kicked off their season in dominating fashion Saturday night with a convincing 49-26 triumph over the Army Black Knights. After Army drew within 7-6 midway through the first quarter, Chandler Harnish and the Huskie offense exploded for 42 unanswered points en route to a 49-6 lead after the third quarter. The Huskies would finish the game with 509 total yards of offense against the Black Knight defense.

Volleyball: Coming off a 3-0 win against Green Bay on Tuesday, the Huskies took home the Bluejay Invitational title in Omaha, Neb. The team opened with a 3-0 sweep of host Creighton on Friday night. They followed that up on Saturday morning by toppling Marquette by a 3-1 margin. They would close things out against South Dakota with a 3-0 sweep of the Coyotes to clinch the tournament title.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois captured the Michigan Invitational title over the weekend with two wins over 2010 NCAA Tournament squads. On Friday, NIU knocked off Oakland, 2-1, on a 85th minute goal from Pat Sloan. They would follow that up on Sunday with a 1-0 shutout of the host Wolverines, with Sloan scoring the lone tally in the match.

Women's Soccer: The Huskies had two matches over the weekend against Missouri Valley Conference members Illinois State and Northern Iowa. On Friday, NIU made the short trip south to Normal, Ill., where they fell to the Redbirds, 5-0. However, Sunday's performance against the UNI Panthers was more promising in a 1-1 tie. Despite falling behind early, the Huskies tacked on a goal in the 46th minute from Corrine Frankenberg. However, neither team was able to break the deadlock.

Cross Country: Northern Illinois opened their 2011 season at the UIC Opener in Palos Heights, Ill., which was the Huskie debut for head coach Greg Hipp. Courtney Oldenburg led the way for NIU with a 12th place finish on the two-mile course, crossing the line with a time of 11:48.90. Also in the top half of the field were Claire McAuley (25th - 12:15.10) and freshman Jamie Burr (26th - 12:15.90).

All five squads will be in action next weekend as well, including men's soccer hosting the NIU adidas Invitational Friday & Sunday, women's soccer at home against Wisconsin Thursday and cross country hosting the NIU Open on the North 40 course Saturday morning. Stay tuned to www.niuhuskies.com for all the latest news on Huskie athletics.

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