Huskies to Face Phoenix Friday in Green Bay

GO HUSKIES Karim Darbaki and NIU plays at Green Bay on Friday
GO HUSKIES
Karim Darbaki and NIU plays at Green Bay on Friday
GO HUSKIES

Aug. 30, 2012

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Northern Illinois (0-1-0) at UW Green Bay (1-1-0)
Date: Friday, August 31, 2012
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Aldo Santaga Stadium, Green Bay, Wis.
Live Video: greenbayphoenix.com
Live Stats: greenbayphoenix.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores

About Green Bay
The Phoenix of UW Green Bay are 1-1 on the season under first-year head coach Dan Popik. After opening the season with a 1-0 victory over Northern Kentucky last Friday (Aug. 24), the Phoenix fell, 1-0, to Marquette on Sunday (Aug. 26). Kirby Allen scored Green Bay's lone goal last weekend in the victory over Northern Kentucky. Green Bay posted an 11-7-1 record last season

Stevenson Opens His Account
Senior James Stevenson scored his first goal of the season, and the 10th of his NIU career, in the season opener against Creighton. The Falkirk, Scotland, native led the Huskies with six goals last season

Godsey Strong in Defeat
Senior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey had a strong performance in the season opener at Creighton. Despite the final 3-1 scoreline, Godsey was credited with eight saves, a single-game career high, including stopping a penalty kick in the final minute of the contest.

Six Huskies Debut in Omaha
Six members of the Northern Illinois men's soccer team got their first taste of collegiate action last Friday in the season opener at Creighton. Freshmen Charlie Oliver and Bertrand Gaschot each got the starting nod in their first career game. Freshmen Gabe Christianson and Matt Pritchard along with sophomore Jabari Danzy each made their first collegiate appearance off the bench for the Huskies.

First of Three
Friday's game in Green Bay is the first of three for NIU against schools from the State of Wisconsin. The Huskies will also face UW Milwaukee at the Northwestern Lakeside Classic on Sept. 14 and will travel to Marquette on Oct. 9.

In the Rankings
Northern Illinois did not receive votes in this week's NSCAA/Continental Tire poll. The Huskies are still receiving votes in the latest College Soccer News poll however.

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.

Preseason Recap
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.

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 34-21-3 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.

Up Next
Northern Illinois will open the home portion of its 2012 slate as the Huskies host the NIU adidas Invitational. Northern Illinois will host Rhode Island on Friday, Sept. 7, at 5 p.m., and Drake on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m., at the NIU Soccer Complex.