Huskies Head West for Lobo Invitational

GO HUSKIES Matt Pritchard made his first career start last Sunday against Iona.
GO HUSKIES
Matt Pritchard made his first career start last Sunday against Iona.
GO HUSKIES

Sept. 20, 2012

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Northern Illinois (1-3-2) vs. Denver (3-1-2)
Date: Friday, September 21, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m. CT
Location: UNM Soccer Complex, Albuquerque, N.M.
Live Stats: GoLobos.com

Northern Illinois (1-3-2) at No. 5 New Mexico (5-1-0)
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Time: 2 p.m. CT
Location: UNM Soccer Complex, Albuquerque, N.M.
Live Stats: GoLobos.com
Live Video: GoLobos.com

About Denver
Denver enters Friday’s match with a three-game winning streak, having beaten Oral Roberts 4-0 last time out (Sept. 16). The Pioneers are 3-1-2 on the year with their lone loss coming against Charlotte, last season’s NCAA runner-up, 2-1 in double overtime. Josh Wren leads Denver with four goals and nine points; Zach Bolden leads the Pioneers with five assists. Oliver Brown has played five-of-six matches in goal for Denver, he has a 1.23 goals against average and a .731 save percentage.

About New Mexico
New Mexico enters the weekend with a 5-1-0 record and is ranked fifth in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll. Three of the Lobos’ five victories have come over teams that were ranked in the top-25 as of their meeting, including a season-opening road win over then second-ranked UCLA. New Mexico is led by Devon Sandoval; he has four goals and 10 points on the season. The Lobos are in the midst of a 15-game home unbeaten streak; their last loss in Albuquerque came on Oct. 10, 2010, when they fell, 3-2, to Air Force.  

Totsch Gets the Winner
Sean Totsch made his return to the starting lineup against Iona (Sept.16) and scored the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute. The goal was the fourth for Totsch in his career and his third career game winner. The Oswego, Ill., native also had game winners last season against Hartwick and against Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament final.

Huskie Duo Honored
Charlie Oliver and Pat Sloan were named to the All-Tournament Team last weekend at the Northwestern Lakeside Classic. It was the second-straight week in which Oliver earned a tournament recognition, the freshman was also recognized on the All-Tournament Team at the NIU adidas Invitational. The honor was Sloan’s second all-tournament selection of his career; he also earned All-Tournament honors last season at the Michigan Invitational.    

Newcomers to the Starting 11
Last time out against Iona (Sept. 16), three Huskies, Jabari Danzy, Matt Pritchard and Parker Thornton, made their first career start. Danzy, a sophomore, has played in five of NIU’s six matches this season after not seeing any time as a freshman. Pritchard and Thornton, both freshmen, were playing in their second and fourth career matches, respectively.   

Christianson Nets First Career Goal
Freshman Gabe Christianson scored the first goal of his collegiate career against Iona (Sept. 16). The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native clinched the 2-0 victory over the Gaels with a goal in the 90th minute.      

Godsey Earns Shutout Record
With his shutout against Rhode Island on Sept. 7, Jordan Godsey set a new NIU school record with his 27th career shutout, breaking a mark held by Markus Roy (1988-91). Godsey currently has 28 career shutouts. Last season, Godsey set the NIU single-season shutout record with 12 clean sheets and also posted a 0.70 goals against average, the second-best single-season mark in program history.   

Rivera Nets Sixth Career Goal
Gael Rivera scored his team-leading second goal of the season in NIU’s 1-1 draw with Drake (Sept. 9). Rivera’s 54th minute tally was the sixth goal of his NIU career. For his efforts, Rivera was named to the NIU adidas Invitational All-Tournament team.  

Three Named to NIU adidas Invitational All-Tournament Team
With a pair of ties against Rhode Island and Drake, the Huskies took second-place in their home tournament. Gael Rivera, Jayson LeSeth and Charlie Oliver were named to the All-Tournament team. This was the third all-tournament honor for Rivera in his NIU career, he was also named to the all-tournament team at the 2011 MAC Tournament and the 2011 Northwestern Lakeside Classic, and it is the first all-tournament team honor for both LeSeth and Oliver.

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

Huskies Tabbed Third in MAC
Northern Illinois was picked to finish third in the preseason coaches poll released Aug. 13. Akron was picked to win the conference while league newcomer West Virginia was tabbed to finish second behind the Zips.

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 Challenging Slate
The 2012 schedule for NIU features five games against foes currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. The Huskies opened the season with No. 7 Creighton, plays No. 5 New Mexico this weekend and will play No. 10 Akron, No. 14 Marquette and No. 21 Northwestern later this season.

The Luzzi File
Eric Luzzi is in his fourth season as the head coach at Northern Illinois. Luzzi has compiled a 35-23-5 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
NIU will begin Mid-American Conference play next Sunday, Sept. 30, when the Huskies travel to Florida Atlantic. The match with the Owls is scheduled to kickoff at 9 a.m. CT.