Aug. 21, 2010
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VALPARAISO, Ind. - For the second straight game, senior Juan Hoyos put in two goals to help the Northern Illinois men's soccer team to victory. Saturday night, Hoyos' double gave the Huskies a 2-1 exhibition win over Valparaiso.
Head coach Eric Luzzi expressed mixed emotions with the his team's outing.
"We had some very good individual performances; there were some individual performances that were not nearly good enough," Luzzi said. "In that regard it's a little disappointing, but, as I also told the guys, the work rate was there."
Luzzi acknowledged his team is tired after multiple practices a day since camp opened Aug. 15, including one sessions just hours before Friday's match.
"We've had a really long week, there is not much left in their tank," he said. "We had two training sessions yesterday, we had hard training this morning, and they worked hard."
Hoyos opened the night's scoring with a bicycle kick from the six yard line. A Crusader misclear in the seventh minute lofted the ball high in the air, where Mike Mascitti sent a header to Hoyos for the score.
Valpo answered to tie the game when Zack Stivers capitalized on a penalty kick in the 34th minute. It was one of six shots on goal the Crusaders accumulated. NIU tallied five shots on goal, with 12 overall.
The game-winning tally arrived nine minutes after the equalizer. Freshman Gael Rivera (Oslo, Norway/WANG Elite Sports Academy) blasted a shot into goalkeeper Ryan Schwarz, who misplayed the rocket attempt. Hoyos flew into the box to poke in the game-winner off the rebound.
Luzzi played every available man on his roster, 23 Huskies with three goalkeepers seeing time on the line. Delving so deep into his bench revealed good news for Northern Illinois.
"There are a few newcomers that have surprised us with how ready they are for division I soccer," Luzzi said.
NIU won its second exhibition game in a row after beating Indianapolis, 5-2, Wednesday. The Huskies wrap-up preseason play at IPFW in one week, and open the regular season at No. 19 Portland, Sept. 3. Northern Illinois' home opener is set for Sept. 10, when the Huskies host Oregon State.