Huskies Shutout DePaul in Scoreless Tie

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GO HUSKIES

GO HUSKIES

Sept. 29, 2010

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CHICAGO - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team outshot DePaul 27-11, but could not find the net in a scoreless tie, Wednesday.

The match is the third consecutive shutout and fourth in the last five matches for the NIU defense. Northern Illinois went to 4-2-2 on the season, and are unbeaten in their last five contests.

"We always pride ourselves on the quality of our defending, so the fact that we limited them to very few quality chances is a credit," NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said.

The Huskies tallied the shutout despite being without regular starter Francis Otira, who sat the match with injury.

"We were missing Francis," Luzzi said. "The fact the Mike Mascitti stepped in and did a very good job is a testament to our depth."

The Huskies pelted Blue Demon goal keeper Joe Ferrari with shot after shot, including seven on target and several more that went just wide of the posts. Mino Kayser and Finn Jor each totaled five shots, while Gael Rivera fired four tries with two on goal.

"You can't create 27 shots and not score a goal," Luzzi said. "On the one hand, it is good that we created 27 shots because we really only played 65 minutes of soccer."

Luzzi counts only 65 minutes of play because he considered the first half sub-par for an NIU team.

"The first half, by our standards was very poor," Luzzi said. "Credit to the guys for the spirit and intensity the displayed in the second half."

Despite coming out flat, NIU outshot DePaul (3-4-2) in every period and controlled the run of play for nearly all of the 110 minutes. The advantage in shots included a 13-6 margin in the second half and a 9-1 tally in the overtime periods.

It is only the third career tie for Luzzi, and the first against a team not ranked in the top-25. His other draws came at No. 1 North Carolina in 2009, and at No. 19 Portland to open 2010.

The 27 shots were the most by an NIU team since Sept. 26, 2008, when the Huskies fired 35 shots against Florida Atlantic. The Huskies won that game 4-2. It is also by far the most of the season. NIU tallied 15 shots against both Gonzaga and Cleveland State.

The Huskies return home to open Mid-American Conference play against Hartwick, Saturday, Oct. 2 at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex. The match starts at 1 p.m. and admission is free. Fans who can't make it to the match can watch online with Huskie All-Access at NIUHuskies.com.