TO THIRD STRAIGHT WIN WITH 4-1 DECISION OVER WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY
GREEN BAY, WI- The Northern Illinois University men's soccer team
eclipsed its win total from a year ago on Sunday with a 4-1 win
at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. With the victory, the
Huskies have won three in a row and four of their last five matches
to move to 4-3, while the Phoenix falls to 3-3. It is the first
time NIU has won back-to-back road matches since 2000.
Jose Alvarado (Elgin / Burlington Central) put the good guys
on the board first at the 5:12 mark, putting a 20 yard shot in the
net from Justin McGrane (Rockford / Boylan). The Phoenix
fought back, as Brandon Steenlage took keeper Dave Palmer's punt
and beat Brent Hartman (Gilbert, AZ) to knot the score at
one apiece. From there, it was all Huskies, as, after a Fraser
Gibson (Dumbarton, Scotland / Dumbarton Academy) missed penalty
kick, Chris VanDuerm (Wheaton / Wheaton-Warrenville South)
sliced his way through the Phoenix defense to score from 10 yards
out with 22 seconds remaining in the opening half.
Northern Illinois continued to cruise in the second half, as senior
Bruce Conrad (Downers Grove / South) scored his second goal
of the weekend on a header at 54:32. Alvarado and Steve Algozino
(Frankfort / Lincoln-Way East) added the helpers as the Huskies
reached the three goal mark for the second match in a row. Senior
Bernhard Hagevik (Oslo, Norway / Wang) capped off the victory
with a one-timer from Paul Gabel (Dunoon, Scotland / Dunoon
Academy) at 68:17.
"A lot of guys added to our performance today," Huskie
head coach Steve Simmons said. "We went deep in the bench and
the important thing is that we didn't see a drop in the team's integrity."
Northern Illinois wins its third straight, it's longest such run
since the 1999 season when Willy Roy's squad won five straight matches.
The Huskies also pass the .500-mark for the first time this late
in the season when the Huskies held a 9-8 mark 17 games in (NIU
won its season opener in 2000 to be 1-0, but then lost four straight).
"When you're trying to put things together, win or lose, you
don't want to look back, because there are too many good teams ahead,"
Simmons added. "Still, three straight gives us a little momentum
to move forward."
The Huskies hope to carry that momentum as they open a three-match
homestand Friday (September 24) when they host IPFW. The Mastadons
and Huskies get underway at noon at the Huskie Soccer Complex.