Aug. 20, 2010
DeKALB - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team will try to carry the momentum of Wednesday's exhibition win over Indianapolis into Saturday, when the Huskies travel to Valparaiso for another preseason contest.
"Our work rate was where in needed to be at Indianapolis," second year head coach Eric Luzzi said. "We need to keep the same level of energy and honesty, while cleaning some things up and implementing some of the teaching we've done over the past 48 hours."
The Crusaders and Huskies had nearly identical records in 2009. Valparaiso finished the year 10-7-2, while NIU went 10-8-1. Saturday's unofficial match will be the first time the teams have met since 2005, a 3-2 victory for Northern Illinois.
Valparaiso returns nine starters from last year's team, which finished 4-2-2 in the Horizon league.
"We know Valpo will provide us the kind of preseason challenge we need to prepare us for a very difficult regular season schedule," Luzzi said.
The match is the second of three exhibitions NIU will play before opening the regular season at No. 19 Portland, Sept. 3.
The Huskies close out their exhibition season at IPFW, Aug. 27. NIU plays its first home game of 2010 against Oregon State, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.