Michael Benson: October 2011 Archives


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The Huskies closed out October with a light week of competition, as only five teams were in action. Despite the short week, it was a highly successful one with volleyball extending their season-long winning streak and men's soccer clinching a spot in the MAC Tournament.

Volleyball: The Huskies made it nine in a row this weekend in Michigan as they recorded wins at Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. On Friday, NIU avenged last month's home loss to the Eagles with a 3-1 victory in Ypsilanti, Mich. The win also gave Huskie head coach Ray Gooden his fourth 20-win season in ten season at Northern. The Huskies followed that up Saturday with another 3-1 win, this time against the Chippewas of Central Michigan.

Men's Soccer: Northern Illinois posted their third-straight conference win and clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament with a 3-0 rout of Bowling Green. Pat Sloan, Kenny Kranz and Jayson LeSeth all scored goals for the Huskies in the win, while goalie Jordan Godsey made four saves to record the shutout. The shutout was the ninth of the season for NIU.

Women's Soccer: The Huskies closed out their 2011 season with a tough 2-0 loss to Western Michigan in DeKalb. NIU had several chances to score, but was unable to find the back of the net in the loss. Northern finishes the season with a 2-15-2 record overall and 1-10-0 in the MAC.

Cross Country: Northern Illinois placed 11th at the MAC Championships Saturday in Muncie, Ind., posting a one spot improvement from last season. Courtney Oldenburg led the way for NIU with a time of 23:01.60, taking 54th place in the field. In second place for the Huskies was Claire McAuley, who crossed the finish line in 23:05.10.

Wrestling: NIU kicked off their 2011-12 season Saturday afternoon with the annual Wrestle-Offs. The exhibition, which helps determine the starting lineup for the season, saw the Black team top Red by a 17-14 margin. Nick Smith, Kevin Fanta, Tyler Loethen and Arber Bebo notched wins for Black, while Rob Jillard, Caleb Busson, Mike Lukowski and Jared Torrence got wins for Red.

The Huskies kick off November with football taking on Toledo at the Glass Bowl Tuesday night and men's basketball opening their season with an exhibition at the Convocation Center against Carthage. In addition, volleyball is at home against Toledo and Ball State, wrestling hosts Stanford and North Central and men's soccer travels to Milwaukee and Hartwick.


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RyanLudwig.jpgWith the annual Huskie Wrestle-Offs set for Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Convocation Center's Victor E. Court, the matchups for the intrasquad meet have been set. The meet will begin with two exhibition matches, followed by the Red & Black Dual.

Exhibition Matches
133: Derek Elmore vs. Thorian Twyner
149: Ethan Davis vs. Matt Frisch

Red & Black Dual
125: Nick Harrison vs. Nick Smith
133: Rob Jillard vs. Jason Montemayor
141: Shawn Fayette vs. Kevin Fanta
149: Steven Bradley vs. Matt Smith
157: Sam Bennett vs. Tyler Loethen
174: Caleb Busson vs. Dan Burk
184: Austin Pickering vs. Arber Bebo
197: Mike Lukowski vs. Shane Rosenberry
285: Jared Torrence vs. Parker Settecase


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It was clearly a successful week for Northern Illinois, as they won all but two games during the past week. Meanwhile, men's golf and women's tennis posted excellent performances in their final competitions of the fall season

Football: After building a 31-10 lead through three quarters, the Huskies held on to beat Buffalo Saturday, 31-30, when the Bulls missed what would have been the tying extra point with 14 seconds to go. During the game, Chandler Harnish broke another NIU career record by surpassing George Bork's completion record in the second quarter. On defense, the Huskies picked off two passes and recovered two muffed punt returns.

Volleyball: Northern Illinois pushed their winning streak to seven with two dominating wins over MAC East opponents over the weekend. On Friday, the Huskies blanked Kent State, 3-0, courtesy of 51 kills and a 33.6 hitting percentage. NIU repeated that performance Saturday against MAC East leader Ohio, sweeping the Bobcats, 3-0, in a rematch of last season's MAC Tournament championship.

Men's Soccer: NIU posted their first two wins in MAC play during the week to improve to 2-2 in conference and 10-4 overall. On Wednesday, the Huskies used two second half goals from James Stevenson and solid goaltending from Jordan Godsey to shut out Western Michigan, 3-0. For Sunday's Senior Day, it was Stevenson again who was the hero, finding the back of the net in the 41st minute to lift Northern past Florida Atlantic, 1-0.

Women's Soccer: The Huskies wrapped up the road portion of their schedule over the weekend, dropping two matches in Ohio. Against Miami (Ohio), the Huskies fell 3-0 after being outshot 19-8 in the match. The team's struggles continued Sunday, when they fell to Bowling Green by a 2-0 margin despite holding the Falcons without a shot in the first half.

Men's Golf: Northern Illinois traveled to Maryland Monday and Tuesday for the Georgetown Intercollegiate, placing seventh out of 12 teams. Bryce Emory paced the Huskies with a third place finish individually, while Matt Gorman took 27th place. The tournament was NIU's last for the fall season, as they will return to action in February for the MAC Match Play tournament.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies put the finishing touches on their 2011 fall season over the weekend, as they hosted the ITA Second Chance Regional in Rockford, Ill. In singles, the team posted eight wins over the weekend, while they were 4-2 in doubles play.

It will be a relatively light week for NIU Athletics, as only five teams will be in action. In DeKalb, women's soccer wraps up their season with a match Thursday against Western Michigan and wrestling begins their season Saturday with the annual Wrestle-Offs. Also, volleyball heads east to face Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan, men's soccer battles Bowling Green Saturday and cross country competes in the MAC Championships in Muncie, Ind.


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Northern Illinois cross country is offering prizes for social media users who use Twitter and Facebook to connect with the NCAA Regional Championship being hosted by NIU on November 12th, at Noon on the NIU North 40.

Twitter Contest

Twitter followers have a chance to win prizes by tweeting about the NCAA Regional Cross Country Championship.

To enter the contest simply tweet something about the NCAA Regional and include the hash tag #NIURegional in your tweet. Things you can tweet about include letting your twitter followers know details about the event, who your favorite team is, what you're looking forward to seeing or anything else on your mind related to the event. You can also tweet a link to the meet web site or the shortened link (http://tiny.cc/ncaaxc).

Don't forget to include the hash tag #NIURegional

Facebook Contest

Facebook users have a chance to win prizes by visiting the Facebook event page for the NCAA Regional Cross Country Championship.

To enter the contest, simply visit the Facebook page and click "Attending" for the event.  Be sure to share the event page and to invite your Facebook friends to attend as well.


Each Thursday leading up to the event one Twitter user and one Facebook user will be selected to win free admission, free VIP parking and NCAA Championship apparel. Entrants may tweet multiple times to help their chances and Facebook users can increase their odds of winning by sharing the event page and inviting their Facebook friends to attend. Prize winners will be contacted through their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

About the Regional

As one of nine regional championships held nationally at the Division I level, NIU will host the Midwest's 33 Division I cross country participating schools from the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

The Midwest Region includes schools from 10 conferences, including the Atlantic 10, Big 12, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Conference USA, Great West, Horizon League, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley and Summit League.

In addition to the Midwest Region Championship determining the top regional teams, the event also serves as the first round of the NCAA Championships, as the top two teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team automatically advance to the national championship. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large process following the regional competition.

For more information on the NCAA Regional Championship, click here.


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The middle week of October was a successful one for NIU Athletics. The hallmark moment was off the field, though, as the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Center Campaign kicked off Saturday before the Huskie football team took on Western Michigan for Homecoming. The 83,500 square foot facility will house a full-size, 120-yard artificial surface football practice field with buffer space surrounding the field on all sides, in addition to a four-lane track, batting cages, and storage cages, among other amenities.

Football: It was a very successful Homecoming for the Huskies, as NIU throttled West Division rival Western Michigan, 51-22. Northern accumulated 697 yards of total offense against the Broncos, including 494 on the ground. In addition, Chandler Harnish became the 11th quarterback in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision history to gain 200 yards rushing and passing in the same game.

Volleyball: Northern Illinois earned their second consecutive 2-0 weekend with two key wins over MAC East foes Akron and Buffalo. On Friday, the Huskies were pushed to five sets against the Zips, but used a commanding fifth set to propel them to a 3-2 win over UA. NIU returned to the court Saturday night against Buffalo, defeating the Bulls in a 3-0 sweep. Sophomore Lauren Wicinski led the Huskie attack with a career-high seven aces.

Men's Soccer: NIU traveled to Northwestern in their lone match of the week Wednesday. Despite solid defense in the first half and some chances on offense, the Wildcats dropped the Huskies at Lakeside Field, 2-0. The loss was the first for NIU against a Big Ten opponent in over two years.

Women's Soccer: It was a heartbreaking two matches for the Huskies, as they were dealt two one-goal losses at home. On Friday, NIU lost to Eastern Michigan, 1-0, on a windy day at the NIU Soccer Complex. The Huskies returned to action Sunday afternoon with a match against defending MAC champion Central Michigan. Despite limiting the Chippewas' offense to only seven shots on goal, Northern still dropped the match, 1-0.

Cross Country: The Huskies wrapped up their 2011 regular season with a 14th place out of 21 teams showing at the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill. Courtney Oldenburg led the way for NIU with a time of 22:42.09, which ranks as the 12th best 6K time in NIU history.

Men's Tennis: NIU headed east to Columbus, Ohio, for the ITA Midwest Regionals. In the main draws, Axel Lagerlof advanced to the Round of 32 before falling to 15th-seeded Stephen Hoh of Illinois in straight sets. In doubles, Maksym Bartiuk and Roman Turtygin also advanced to the Round of 32, but fell to Ohio State's 12th-ranked duo of Kevin Metka and Steven Williams, 8-1.

Women's Golf: Northern Illinois could not solve the Hawthornes Golf and Country Club course Monday and Tuesday in Fishers, Ind., as they placed 14th at the MAC Preview. Allie Parthie led NIU tied for 72nd place with a 171-shot performance.

Six Huskie teams will be in action during the upcoming week, including a pair of men's soccer matches at the NIU Soccer Complex Wednesday and Sunday and volleyball hosting Kent State and MAC-leading Ohio at Victor E. Court.


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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Wrestling Team 2.jpg
With the start of the 2011-12 season only one month away, WrestlingReport.com unveiled their updated preseason rankings. Among the changes were in the 125 weight class, where Huskie sophomore Nick Smith jumped three spots to No. 26. Additionally, Rob Jillard fell one position in 133 to No. 29.

Outside the individual rankings, The Open Mat looked at the Mid-American Conference in the conference preview series. TOM picked senior Brad Dieckhaus to return to the MAC Tournament final at 184, while Matt Smith (147) and Sam Bennett (157) are projected to finish in the top four at the conference tournament. As a team, here is what they said about NIU:

"The Huskies will look towards Dieckhaus to lead a rather young team this year. Did you notice that eight of ten starters are only sophomores? The Huskies will have a very young group this season. Look for (Caleb) Busson and (Mike) Lukowski to take steps forward and possibly move forward from their finishes last year .... They are a very young team so that could change, but it depends on how the younger guys develop during the season."


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Five Huskie teams were in action during the past week. Among the highlights were Saturday's football win over Kent State and volleyball's two wins in conference play.

Football: Northern Illinois returned to Huskie Stadium Saturday to post a dominating 40-10 victory over Kent State. The Huskie defense only allowed seven rushing yards and 70 yards of total offense on the day, while recording 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks in the rout. Chandler Harnish found the endzone twice and Matthew Sims was a perfect four-for-four on field goals.

Volleyball: The Huskies won both of their matches during the week to improve to 4-2 in MAC play. On Thursday, NIU swept Western Michigan, 3-0, while sophomore Lauren Wicinski became the fastest Huskie to join the 1,000 kill club. Northern doubled Thursday's performance Saturday night by topping Miami (Ohio), 3-0, on NIU Volleyball Alumni Night.

Men's Soccer: The Huskies kicked off a three-game road trip Tuesday when they headed north to face Marquette. After going scoreless in regulation and in the first overtime, Jayson LeSeth launched a shot into the right corner of the MU net to win it for the Huskies, 1-0. NIU then traveled east to face defending NCAA champion Akron, where they fell to the No. 3 Zips, 2-0.

Women's Soccer: Northern Illinois tallied their first MAC win of the season Friday night, when they defeated Buffalo, 1-0. Lauren Eberts scored the lone goal with a marker in the 67th minute. On Sunday, NIU and Kent State combined for five goals in the match. However, KSU's two scores in the final four minutes of play edged them ahead of NIU, 3-2.

Women's Golf: The Huskies closed out their home tournament on Monday by placing seventh in the 12-team field. Allie Parthie paced NIU with a tie for ninth place, while Kelsie Passolt and Katie Kuhn both posted top 30 finishes at the Kishwaukee Country Club.

Northern Illinois' homecoming week will feature seven teams in action, including Saturday's crucial football game against Western Michigan and two home women's soccer matches.


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It was a mixed bag of results for the nine Huskie teams in action this week, including football and both soccer programs dropping their respective games over the weekend. Yet, there were plenty of bright spots as well among the teams, including top five finishes for both men's and women's golf.

Football: The Huskies put up 370 passing yards and 587 yards of total offense Saturday in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., but it was not enough as the Huskies dropped their MAC opener to Central Michigan, 48-41. Despite the loss, quarterback Chandler Harnish broke another NIU record, as he eclipsed George Bork's 48-year-old school mark for career passing yards with the top passing yardage game of his Huskie career.

Volleyball: For the second straight week, the Huskie volleyball team split their weekend matches against conference foes. NIU dropped their Friday night tilt, 3-2, at Ball State, despite leading the Cardinals 2-1 through three sets. The Huskies would recover Saturday, though, as they shot down the Toledo Rockets by a 3-1 margin. During the match, Lauren Wicinski came within one kill of tying NIU's all-time career record.

Men's Soccer: NIU dropped their MAC opener Saturday in DeKalb to the Buffalo Bulls, 2-1, in double overtime. The Huskies outshot UB, 19-6, but only James Stevenson's 73rd minute shot found the back of the net. The Bulls, however, would score on a free kick in the 108th minute to seal the victory.

Women's Soccer: The Huskies continued their MAC schedule at home over the weekend. However, both matches ended in one-goal losses for NIU. On Friday, Akron used a 63rd minute goal and stellar goaltending to down the Huskies, 1-0. The results improved on Sunday against Ohio. The Huskies used a goal from Samantha Hill to tie the game at 1-1, but the Bobcats retook the lead almost immediately following the lone NIU marker to win, 2-1.

Men's Golf: Northern Illinois played in two tournaments during the week with far different results both times. NIU traveled to Louisville on Monday and Tuesday for the Cardinal Intercollegiate, where they finished in second place behind Shawn Foley's -1, 143 performance. They returned to the course during the weekend for Illinois State's D.A. Weibring Invitational, where they finished 11th as a team.

Women's Golf: The Huskie women's golf squad competed in two tournaments during the week within the state of Illinois. On Monday and Tuesday, the team headed south for the SIUE Intercollegiate. Keyed by top ten performances from Allie Parthie and Taylor Ellet, the team took fifth place overall. NIU returned home Sunday for the NIU Huskie Classic at Kishwaukee Country Club. Currently, the team sits in eighth place with Monday's competition underway.

Cross Country: The Huskies raced in the Windy City over the weekend at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational, where they claimed 20th out of the 45-team field. Courtney Oldenburg led the way for NIU with a 70th place finish, timing in at 18:55.50. Meanwhile, Claire McAuley also took home a top 100 finish, placing 91st with a time of 19:10.60.

Men's Tennis: The NIU men's tennis team traveled to Muncie, Ind., over the weekend for the 33rd annual Ball State Invitational. In singles, the team went 3-5 behind Roman Turtygin, Axel Lagerlof and Max Phillips' wins. Meanwhile, the Huskies tallied three wins in doubles and only lost two matches due to injuries.

Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois faced five other conference foes over the weekend, as they competed at Western Michigan's MAC Invitational. On the weekend, the team posted six wins total, including two doubles wins from Haley Dekkinga and Nelle Youel. In addition, Youel also posted two singles wins during the weekend tournament.

NIU heads into their first full week of October with a packed slate of action, including two home volleyball matches and Saturday's home football game against Kent State.

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