2008-09 WRAP - DAY THREE
We continue our sport-by-sport wrap of the 2008-09 season today with men's soccer.
After winning a MAC Championship in 2006, then faltering a bit the next year, the Huskie men's soccer team was back in title contention for the 2008 campaign.LOGOS AND MARKERS INSTALLED
The Huskies pounded their way through the tournament to the MAC Championship game. Then NIU went to double-overtime, a full 105 minutes, with Akron, the fourth-ranked team in the country before losing, 1-0, on a goal by the No. 1 draft pick in Major League Soccer. Short of losing on penalty kicks, the Huskies came as close as you can to their second MAC title in three years without winning it.
But the conference title game was far from the only highlight on a year that saw the Huskies win 10+ games for the fourth time in five years. NIU went 11-6-4, 4-1-1 in MAC play. Included in those 11 wins was an overtime victory over then-No. 2 SMU (see a photo gallery of the win). Freshman Brad Horton's goal in the 92nd minute lifted NIU to a 1-0 win, and made the Mustangs the highest-ranked opponent to fall to the Huskies in any sport, ever. After the SMU win, which made the team unbeaten through seven matches, the Huskies made their way into the top-25 for the fifth straight season.
The list of individual awards Huskies won for the 2008 season is simply extensive. Here's some of the highlights: Drew Jeskey was named to the NSCAA All-Great Lakes Third Team, Kyle Knotek was honored as an academic All-American, and Brad Horton garnered College Soccer News All-Freshman Third Team accolades. All that is in addition to the three All-MAC players, and five Academic All-MAC selections.
The 2008 season for men's soccer was among the best in school history, and one of the standout performances by any Huskie team in the 2008-09 season.
SIXTY-SIX NIU STUDENT-ATHLETES GRADUATE IN 2008-09
Sixty-six Northern Illinois student-athletes representing 16 Huskie teams earned their degrees in 2008-09, led by 20 members of the NIU football program, NIU Director of Student-Athlete Academic Support Services Francine St. Clair announced Tuesday.
The Huskies 2008-09 grads list includes 16 student-athletes who earned their degrees in December 2008, 33 who celebrated commencement earlier this month and 15 who are scheduled to complete their studies this summer.
ST. CHARLES HUSKIE CARAVAN SET FOR THURSDAY!
Once again this spring, Northern Illinois coaches and staff are hitting the road to meet and greet Huskie fans at the annual Huskie Athletic Scholarship Fund (HASF) Spring Caravans. Coaches Jerry Kill (football), Ricardo Patton (men's basketball), Carol Owens (women's basketball) and Associate Vice-President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher will headline the events. The second installment, in St. Charles, is set for tomorrow (Thursday).
HOOD REPRESENTS HUSKIES ON ALL-MAC TEAMS
Less than 48 hours after being named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week for his outstanding accomplishments in the last week of the regular season, Jordin Hood (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) was named to the All-MAC second team late last night for his consistent top-notch performance throughout the entire 2009 season.
The honor, which is voted on by the conference coaches, has been given to Hood two times now in his three years as a Huskie, making him the sixth Huskie to be selected to an All-MAC team more than once in a career. He first earned the award as a freshman, along with being named a freshman all-american by Louisville Slugger, Collegiate Baseball and Ping! Baseball.
GMAC BOWL ANNOUNCES MAC-ACC MATCHUP
GMAC Bowl president, Jerry Silverstein announced earlier this week that the 2009 GMAC Bowl game will feature a new conference participant, the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 11th Annual GMAC Bowl Game will be held on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. C.S.T. and will feature an ACC team and the first selection from the Mid-American Conference. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPN.
The MAC has played in eight GMAC Bowls and boasts an impressive 5-3 record (.625), including #14 Miami's 49-28 victory in 2003 over Louisville in Ben Roethlisberger's last game quarterbacking the RedHawks. Over the eight-year relationship the MAC has sent six (6) different schools to Mobile - Marshall (2001-02), Bowling Green (2004, 2008), #12 Ball State (2009), #14 Miami (2003), Ohio (2007), and Toledo (2005).
The MAC now faces the ACC, Big Ten (Motor City Bowl) and Big East (International Bowl) in its three contracted bowl appearances.