Aug. 23, 2012
Game Notes in PDF Format
Northern Illinois (0-0-0) at No. 3 Creighton (0-0-0)
Date: Friday, August 24, 2012
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Morrison Stadium, Omaha, Neb.
Live Video: GoCreighton.com
Live Stats: GoCreighton.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
Creighton comes into the 2012 season on the heels of a 21-2-1 mark a season ago. The Blue Jays advanced to the semifinals of the College Cup in 2011 before falling on penalty kicks to Charlotte. Creighton went 14-0 at home last season, outscoring the opposition, 28-2. Last weekend, the Blue Jays played a pair of exhibitions, tying No. 9 Maryland, 3-3, on Friday before bettering Nebraska Omaha, 1-0, on Sunday.
Right Where We Left Off
NIU begins the 2012 season in the same place it ended the 2011 campaign. The Huskies fell in the NCAA Second Round, 3-0, at Creighton last season, ending a season in which the Huskies went 15-6-0, tying a school-record for wins.
In the Rankings
The Huskies begin the season receiving votes in the preseason NSCAA/Continental Tire poll. NIU ranks 26th in the current College Soccer News poll and 39th in the Top Drawer Soccer rankings.
Huskies Tabbed Third in MAC
Northern Illinois was picked to finish third in the preseason coaches poll released Aug. 13. Tenth-ranked Akron was picked to win the conference while league newcomer West Virginia was tabbed to finish second behind the Zips.
NIU capped its preseason slate on Aug. 18 with a 1-0 victory over DePaul, Gael Rivera scored the lone goal of the match against the Blue Demons. A week earlier, the Huskies played Notre Dame in a pair of split squad matches, falling to the Fighting Irish, 2-0 and 3-0.
Climbing the Charts
NIU senior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey continues to put his name into the NIU record books. Godsey set a single-season shutout record in 2011 when he posted 12 clean sheets, giving him 26 total in his Huskie career. With one more shutout, Godsey will set a new school-record for career shutouts, breaking the mark currently held by Markus Roy (1988-91). Godsey also had a 0.70 goals against average last season, the second-best single-season mark in program history. Godsey's career goals against average of 0.71 is currently the best in NIU history, bettering Joe Zimka's (2005-08) mark of 0.91.
A Challenging Slate
The 2012 schedule for NIU features four games against foes ranked in the preseason NSCAA Top 25. In addition to its season opener against third-ranked Creighton, the Huskies will play No. 6 New Mexico, No. 10 Akron and No. 20 Northwestern.
An Omaha Homecoming
Huskie freshman Kyle Pritchard will be making a homecoming on Friday night when the Huskies play at Creighton. Pritchard, an Omaha native, attended Creighton Prep High School, helping the school win a pair of soccer state championships.
A Historic Season
Northern Illinois is coming off a historic 2011 season in which the Huskies went 15-6-0 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history. NIU won the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, beating in-state rival Western Illinois in the opening round. NIU climbed as high as No. 13 in the NSCAA national poll last season and as high as No. 16 in the RPI. The Huskies finished 2011 ranked 24th in RPI.
50 Seasons of Huskie Soccer
This season, Northern Illinois is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its inaugural season. NIU played its first varsity soccer match on October 5, 1962, a 6-0 loss at Grinnell College. The Huskies will be celebrating this anniversary at their Oct. 13 match against Akron.
A Lonestar Trio
Among the nine newcomers on the Huskie roster this season, three hail from the State of Texas and were members of the same youth club. Bertrand Gaschot, Kyle McDonald and Parker Thornton were all members of the Lonestar Soccer Club based in Austin, Texas.
The Luzzi File
Eric Luzzi enters his fourth season as the head coach at Northern Illinois. Luzzi has compiled a 34-20-3 record at the helm of the Huskies. Luzzi spent three seasons as an assistant at NIU before taking over the program in 2009. On May 24, NIU announced that Luzzi had signed a contract extension through the 2015 season.
Welcome West Virginia
On March 27, the Mid-American Conference announced the addition of West Virginia to the league as a soccer affiliate member. The Mountaineers join Florida Atlantic and Hartwick as soccer-only members of the conference.
Following the season opener at Creighton, NIU will remain on the road as it travels to UW Green Bay on Friday, Aug. 31. Kickoff against the Phoenix is scheduled for 6 p.m.