Hoyos Heroic on Senior Day
Oct. 30, 2010
DeKALB - In his last home game as a Huskie, senior Juan Hoyos gave Northern Illinois men's soccer fans something to remember him by. With 4:23 left in a 0-0 tie against Mid-American Conference rival Bowling Green, Hoyos pounded a cross from Gael Rivera into the back of the net to lift NIU to a 1-0 Senior Day victory, Saturday.
"Bowling Green is a program that is much improved from the past few years," NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said. "We had a fair amount of the ball, but they limited our good chances and made it difficult on us."
The match's only score came as Northern Illinois earned a thrown-in deep in Falcon territory. NIU players crowded the box, awaiting a long throw from Brad Horton, who threw the ball short to Rivera, who was left unmarked just outside the box. Rivera drove a ball far post where Hoyos got on the end of it for the game-winning goal.
"Even though we couldn't find a breakthrough in the first half, or in the first 60 minutes, first 70 minutes, I thought our guys did well not to get frustrated," Luzzi said.
The second-year head coach was especially pleased to see Hoyos net the game-winner on Senior Day.
"I couldn't be more pleased for Juan to get the goal," he said. "It was a finisher's goal - he found a way to finish from a tight angle, with pressure coming, on a driven ball."
Northern Illinois improved to 8-6-2, guaranteeing its sixth .500 or better season in the last seven years. The Huskies are 2-4 in Mid-American Conference play. Bowling Green fell to 5-7-2 overall and 2-3-0 in league action.
The Huskies controlled the majority of play, tallying 18 shots to the Falcons' eight. NIU also had four corner kicks to BGSU's one.
In addition to Hoyos, three other Huskies celebrated Senior Day. Midfielders Engebreth Faerden and Luis Mojica played in their last game at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex, as did fifth-year senior and 2008 Academic All-American Kyle Knotek.
"We told our guys anything less than win would be unacceptable, considering all those guys have given to our program," Luzzi said. "The absolute least the rest of us in the program could do to honor those guys was get a victory."
The shutout was the Huskies' eighth on the season, tying for the most in a year since 2006, when NIU recorded a school-record 14 en route to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Huskies conclude their regular season at Milwaukee, Thursday, Nov. 4, in the teams' annual battle for the Lewang Cup.
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