April 5, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team collected a pair of victories in spring action on Saturday, April 2. The Huskies defeated UIC, 3-0, and Bradley, 1-0, in windy conditions at the NIU Soccer Complex.
"Generally, I thought it was pretty typical for our first game outside this spring," said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. "Understandably, there were a few moments that were a bit sloppy on our part. But, I also thought there were a number of times we put some very good sequences together. I was also pleased that we were able to put four completely different lineups out there between the two games, and we got a chance to see how some guys are adapting to new roles.
"The thing I was most pleased about, however, was the number of chances we created and the number that we finished. Going back to last fall, we did not score nearly as many goals as we should have. We have worked a lot on our attack this spring, and the fact that we scored 4 goals today, from 3 different players, is very exciting."
After UIC played to a scoreless draw against Bradley in the first game of the day, the Huskies took on UIC and opened the scoring seven minutes before the intermission as Gael Rivera found Hooman Shams all alone in front of the goal for a tap-in to give NIU a 1-0 advantage.
Following the break, James Stevenson doubled the Huskie lead on a goal in the 42nd minute, Rivera set up Stevenson on the play to record his second assist of the day. NIU capped the scoring against the Flames as Johnny Tyma slotted home the third goal of the afternoon in the 52nd minute after running onto a through ball from Stefan Vaziri.
In the nightcap, Northern Illinois and Bradley played an even first 30 minutes
In the 40th minute, NIU took a lead on Stevenson's second goal of the day. Rocco Taglia took a long throw-in that Finn Jor flicked toward the back post where Stevenson pounced and found the net to give the Huskies the lead.
Jordan Godsey made a pair of fine saves in the closing minutes to preserve the 1-0 victory for the Huskies.
NIU returns to spring action this Friday, April 8, when it travels to Loyola, game time against the Ramblers is slated for 7:30 p.m.
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