NORTHERN ILLINOIS 5, NIU ALUMNI 1
NIU --- Vrahram Kadkhodaian (Unassisted), 5:29 Gone.
NIU --- Justin McGrane (Kevin Woerner assist), 17:35 Gone.
NIU --- Justin McGrane (Unassisted), 30:29 Gone.
Alum --- Mike Gentile (Unassisted / PK), 46:24 Gone.
NIU --- Vrahram Kadkhodaian (Kevin Woerner assist), 63:39 Gone.
NIU --- Vrahram Kadkhodaian (Chris Van Duerm assist), 65:23 Gone.
NEW ERA WITH 5-1 VICTORY OVER ALUMNI IN STEVE SIMMONS' DEBUT AS
NIU MEN'S SOCCER COACH
DeKALB, IL ---
Schedules termed Saturday's (Aug. 23) Alumni SoccerFest an "exhibition,"
but for new Northern Illinois University men's soccer coach Steve
Simmons, it was anything but a meaningless contest. The new sideline
boss viewed the match---part of the tenth annual event to open the
season---as an opportunity to demonstrate the program's progress
to the former Huskies, and his team didn't disappoint.
Kadkhodaian (Mt. Prospect / Arlington Heights / St. Viator) netted
a hat trick and freshman Justin McGrane (Rockford / Boylan) added
a pair of goals to lift the Huskies past an alumni squad, 5-1.
started the scoring at the 5:29 mark, slipping past a pair of defenders
and beating goalkeeper Steve Brody to the post for a 1-0 advantage.
The margin grew to 2-0 when McGrane and fellow freshman Kevin Woerner
(Elmhurst / York) combined to work through the alumni defense and
McGrane's short shot at 17:35. McGrane added an unassisted strike
after intercepting an errant clearing attempt and notching his second
goal of the afternoon at 30:29 to give Simmons' troops a 3-0 advantage
broke the shutout for the alumni by converting a penalty kick after
being fouled in the box at the 46:24 mark, but the Huskie defense
held the alums at bay from there. Kadkhodaian provided insurance
in the closing stages, knocking in a rebound at the 63:39 mark.
Woerner's initial shot rang off the right post directly to a waiting
Kadkhodaian, who drove the ball into the corner of the net for a
4-1 advantage. Kadkhodaian then completed the hat trick off a Chris
Van Duerm (Wheaton / Warrenville South) crossing pass at 65:23.
The freshman found Kadkhodaian unmarked in front, and the Mt. Prospect
native hit a one-time blast off goalkeeper Bob Johnson and across
the goal line for the day's final goal.
good to see the players get some confidence striking the ball the
way we did today," Simmons noted. "'Cue' (Kadkhodaian)
didn't have to think about what to do, he just did it and produced
good results. The freshmen coming in are trying to find their way
and they did some good things as well."
squad outshot the alumni 30-10, but the first-year NIU coach was
quick to applaud the veterans' efforts in the program's transition
to new leadership this fall.
a lot to have the alumni come out to support the program the way
they did today," Simmons said. "As the new coach, I didn't
know what turnout to expect, but they showed their support for what
we're doing. This is NIU's program, and my job is to continue the
legacy of quality soccer here, making this a program they can feel
proud about. I'm hoping to meet more of them as we go along."
officially raise the curtain on the 2003 season Friday (Aug. 29)
with a 5:00 p.m. contest versus the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
at Madison, WI. The John Lewang Memorial Cup---a traveling trophy
between the teams---is on the line in that contest, which also opens
the University of Wisconsin's annual Rocky Rococo Classic tournament.
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by Robert Hester