Jan. 5, 2009
CLEVELAND - Headlined by ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American Kyle Knotek, a trio of Northern Illinois men's soccer players were named to the Mid-American Conference All-Academic Team, the conference announced Monday.
Knotek, who holds a 4.0 grade point average in Northern Illinois' heralded College of Business, is joined on the squad by teammates Chris Johnson and Brad Bahr. Johnson, an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, is a senior with a 3.57 GPA in international politics. Bahr has recorded a 3.98 grade point average in mechanical engineering.
On the field, each honoree helped the Huskies to an 11-6-4 season, which included a trip to the MAC Championship game. Knotek started in 20 matches, including shutouts of No. 2 SMU and all three matches of the MAC Tournament. Knotek's frenetic pace also helped the Huskies shut out No. 17 Bradley, IUPUI, San Francisco, Xavier, Buffalo and Bowling Green, twice.
Johnson played in all but one match, with 10 starts at forward and outside midfielder. He scored in his first start of the season against Xavier, and started in the upset of the Mustangs. On the year, Johnson took 23 shots with 11 on goal for a .478 shots-on-goal percentage.
As a key substitute for the Huskies, Bahr appeared in 11 games, and Northern Illinois outscored its opponents 15-6 in those contests. He started in three matches, including MAC wins over Western Michigan and Bowling Green, and saw time in seven of NIU's eight shutouts.
The Huskies finished second in the MAC with a 4-1-1 conference record, and made it to the league tournament title game, falling to top-seeded Akron in double overtime.