Oct. 5, 2007
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DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team started its Mid-American Conference title defense on the right foot, Friday, ousting MAC foe Western Michigan 4-0.
"We only have five conference games, so (this win) was huge," head coach Steve Simmons said. "One of the reason I set the schedule up the way I do is to prepare for conference, and part of that came to fruition tonight."
The Huskies (3-5-3, 1-0-0 MAC) scored four goals in a span of 45:50, including two from penalty kicks in the last five minutes of the match, to secure the victory.
Steve Algozino (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) started the scoring onslaught with just under a minute left in the first half. Freshman Per Engebreth Faerden (Olso, Norway/College for Top Athletes) set-up the goal with a precise corner kick, and with a whip of the head Algozino gave Northern Illinois a 1-0 advantage.
"You can not let up goals right before the period ends, and that absolutely crushed their momentum," Simmons said of the late score. "You could see that in the second half."
Junior Chris Johnson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Yavapai C.C.) added a goal for NIU in the 69th minute. Johnson received a pass from freshman J.C. Aikenhead (West Chicago, Ill./Wheaton Academy), then exchanged passes with freshman Luis Mojica (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) on the right side to find enough room to score.
Northern Illinois scored twice more before the end of the match, both off penalty kicks. The first, taken by senior Fraser Gibson (Dumbarton, Scotland/Dumbarton Academy), came in the 86th minute after a Bronco foul in the box. On the other, a handball in the box led to an NIU free kick for Marcus McCarty (Fort Worth, Texas/Fossil Ridge), who placed a shot in the lower right corner of the net.
The Huskies outshot the Broncos, who drop to 5-6-0 over and 0-1-0 in MAC play, by a margin of 16-4, while placing four shots on goal to Western Michigan's none.
Senior goalkeeper Brian Van Buren (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) recorded his first career shutout in the match after 90 minutes between the pipes.
Northern Illinois returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. to face Western Illinois. The game can be heard on WLBK 1360-AM or on-line with Huskies All-Access.