Sept. 20, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After earning Northwestern Lakeside Classic Most Valuable Player recognition for his performance over the weekend, Northern Illinois men's soccer player Francis Otira was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week, the web publication announced Monday.
Otira, a junior defender, scored the game-winning goal in NIU's comeback victory over Holy Cross. Otira headed a throw-in from Rocco Taglia into the net for his first goal of the season. In the Huskies' next contest against Gonzaga, Otira launched a ball from the back line to Juan Hoyos up top. Hoyos headed the ball in for the match-winner, which also sealed NIU's first place finish at the Northwestern Lakeside Classic.
"Francis has been our most consistent player this fall," NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said. "His experience on the back line allows our team to play the way we want to play."
The third NIU player to be named to the CSN National Team of the Week since 2006, Otira joins Hoyos and former Huskie goalkeeper Joe Zimka, who won the award twice in a three week span in 2006.
Otira's performance helped NIU win the Northwestern Lakeside Classic for the second time in three years. The Huskies now hold a 7-2-1 record at the tournament over the last five years.
Hoyos, freshman forward James Stevenson and senior defender Kyle Knotek joined Otira on the Northwestern Lakeside Classic All-Tournament Team.
The Huskies return to the pitch at Bradley, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.