Sept. 4, 2010
Box Score in PDF Format
PORTLAND, Ore. - Another tough early season road trip for the Northern Illinois men's soccer team produced another positive result for the Huskies. NIU traveled to Merlo Field, the hostile home of No. 19 Portland and came away with a scoreless draw in both team's season-opener Friday night.
Last season, Northern Illinois tied then-No. 1 North Carolina on the road in its first trip. Head coach Eric Luzzi, who opened his second season at the helm of NIU, said the result shows again that his team can compete with the best in the nation by relying on the blue collar attitude that has become a trademark of NIU soccer.
"I don't think it was a great performance by our team, but it was a gutsy performance," Luzzi said. "We're not pleased, but there's something to be said for going on the road in a tough environment and getting out of there with a draw."
Northern Illinois produced a multitude of chances, including a flurry in the last two minutes of the first overtime. With less than 120 seconds remaining, freshman Mino Kayser set up Luis Mojica for a shot from the right side of the box. Portland keeper Austin Guerrero deflected the ball away. Huskie forward Juan Hoyos followed with a bicycle kick that Guerrero barely managed to keep out of the net.
"Those were three pretty good chances in overtime, and any one of them could've given us the game," Luzzi said.
Less than a minute later, sophomore Hooman Shams found himself alone in the penalty area, 15 yards and straight on from the goal, but his shot sailed high.
Huskie goalkeeper Jordan Godsey opened his sophomore campaign in pure fashion. Godsey recorded his eighth career shutout with four saves.
"Jordan is in the process of becoming a little more complete goal keeper," Luzzi said. "He's retained the qualities of being an unbelievable shot stopper while the rest of his game has grown and continues to grow."
The NIU attack displayed accuracy in putting shots on target. The Huskies took 10 total shots, with four on goal. Portland blasted 17 shots with just five on frame.
Northern Illinois continues its season in Portland at the Nike Invitational when NIU takes on Washington, Sunday at 1 p.m. (CDT).