Oct. 27, 2010
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Senior midfielder Luis Mojica tallied two assists, helping the Northern Illinois men's soccer team to a 2-0 win at Western Michigan, Wednesday afternoon.
With gusts of up to 47 miles per hour in their faces, the Huskies got off to a hot start with goals in the third and 14th minutes. Junior Brad Horton scored what would prove to be the game winner after a sequence of passes from Mojica and Kenny Kranz. It was Horton's first tally of the season.
Just over 10 minutes later, Juan Hoyos volleyed a shot past WMU goal keeper Sean Lewis to put Northern Illinois up 2-0. Head coach Eric Luzzi was impressed with his team's performance.
"With a 40-50 mile per hour wind, conditions were difficult," he said. "Our guys responded to those challenges pretty well."
NIU improved to 7-6-2 overall on the year, and captured its first Mid-American Conference win. The Huskies are now 1-4-0 in MAC play. Luzzi said the difference in Wednesday's result was his team's ability to concentrate on playing good soccer for 90 minutes.
"Our guys today were very focused on the task at hand," he said. "Whatever the challenges - the weather, the score, the referees - our guys did a really good job today of not losing focus."
Luzzi was complimentary of both goal scorers, as well as of junior Francis Otira, who directs the NIU defense.
"Brad and Juan were very good, and Francis in the back, in terms of his organization and his emotional leadership, was very good," Luzzi complimented.
The shutout was the seventh of the year for the Huskies, and was made even more impressive by the offensive numbers the Broncos had previously put up. Western Michigan ranks 21st nationally and second in the MAC with 28 goals scored. The 7-7-2 Broncos had been shutout only four times this year.
After the match, Luzzi told his team "that was exactly the kind of performance that we needed, and that we are capable of . Keep focusing on the process and the results will take care of themselves."
The match was the last of a four game road trip for NIU in which the Huskies went 2-2-0. The trip included a 2-0 win at Northwestern, the Huskies' second victory over a Big Ten team this season. Northern Illinois returns home for Senior Day, Saturday, Oct. 30 to host Bowling Green.