Czajka continues assault on all-time NIU Top Times list, runs second straight 18:33 at Central Collegiates (9/19)


Sept. 19, 2004


Box Score

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.