Aug. 22, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team will hit the road take on Marquette, Friday, in the Huskies' last exhibition before the regular season begins.
Much like in the team's first exhibition game against DePaul, fifth-year head coach Steve Simmons will look to get more out of the match than a win.
"The goals of this friendly are to try and move toward a starting line-up for the season opener August 31," Simmons said. "It would be good to get all available players time on the field for one last look in live competition before we move into our non-conference preparation."
The Golden Eagles will field a youthful squad that features 12 sophomores and 11 freshman, compared to only five juniors and one senior on the roster.
"Marquette has a very large recruiting class coming into this season, and their side primarily consists freshmen and sophomores," Simmons said.
Despite Marquette's youth, Simmons expects a competitive exhibition meeting.
"Coach Bennett and his staff will have them very prepared and on the same page," Simmons said. "In the end, I am certain that both sides will challenge one another before non-conference play."
The Huskies return four All Mid-American Conference performers from the 2006 squad which won the MAC regular season and tournament championships, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Northern Illinois opens the regular season Friday, Aug. 31 against Bucknell at the Northwestern Lakeside Classic in Evanston, Ill.