Nationally-Ranked Huskies Travel to Drake on Saturday



Sept. 23, 2011

DEKALB, Ill. -- Coming off a 1-0 overtime win over UC Davis, the20th ranked Northern Illinois men's soccer team returns to the road as it travels to Drake on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a 7 p.m. contest. The Huskies and Bulldogs have met seven times previously, with NIU holding a 3-3-1 record. The last meeting between the two schools was a 1-0 Drake win in 2007.

Following the Match Against Drake
The game against Drake can be followed via live stats at

About Xavier
Drake improved to 5-3-1 on the season with a 4-2 victory over DePaul on Wednesday night at home in Des Moines, Iowa. Matt Kuhn and Charles Schwartz each netted goals in the victory over the Blue Demons, Kuhn and Schwartz continue to pace the Bulldogs in goal scoring with five and four goals, respectively. Jordan Kadlec and Rich Gallagher have shared the duties in goal for Drake; Kadlec has a 2-1-1 record and a 1.36 goals-against average while Gallagher is 3-2-0 with a 1.98 GAA.

Luzzi on the Drake Match
"Drake is a very good team, they have had some close results against some good teams. They score a lot of goals and they are a handful in a lot of ways. They are a massive team; their average height is about 6-foot-2. They are pretty athletic, they work hard, they are very strong and they can play the game too, so it's going to be a tough challenge for our guys.

Huskies Maintain National Ranking
Despite suffering its first loss of the season last weekend to Xavier, the NIU men's soccer team maintained its spot in the national polls. The Huskies check in at number 20 in this week's NSCAA poll, 24 in both the Soccer America and Soccer Times polls and 26th in the College Soccer News rankings.  

Greenest Game on Grass
When NIU visits Drake, the Bulldogs will be hosting their third annual "Greenest Game on Grass." As part of the "Greenest Game" imitative, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will have its mobile education exhibit on-site to help promote ways to live a green lifestyle. The Bulldogs will also wear green uniforms as part of the festivities.

Rivera to the Rescue
Gael Rivera scored his third goal of the season in overtime against UC Davis to lift the Huskies to a victory over the Aggies. The goal was Rivera's second of the weekend and helped him earn all-tournament team honors at the Lakeside Classic. Rivera is tied for the team lead with three goals and leads NIU with seven points.

All-Tournament Team at Northwestern
Francis Otira and Gael Rivera were named to the Northwestern Lakeside Classic All-Tournament team last weekend. Rivera scored both of NIU's goals in the tournament. For Otira, the accolade marked his third-straight all-tournament team honor.

Otira Claims Honors
On Sept. 12, Francis Otira earned both College Soccer News National Team of the Week and Mid-American Conference Player of the Week honors for his performance at the NIU/adidas Invitational. It marked the second consecutive week a Huskie claimed both awards

Four Huskies Named to NIU/adidas All-Tournament Team
Francis Otira earned Most Valuable Player recognition and Jordan Godsey, Karim Darbaki and Isaac Kannah were named to the All-Tournament team at the NIU/adidas Invitational. Godsey recorded clean sheets in both games, Darbaki scored a pair of goals and Kannah registered a goal and an assist.

Hogan's Heroes
Freshman Paul Hogan has scored a team-high-tying three goals thus far for the Huskies. Hogan entered the season-opener at Saint Louis at the 40:44 mark and just 39 seconds later, with his first touch of the game, Hogan found the back of the net for the game-winning goal. Hogan continued the superb start to his collegiate career when he scored in the ninth minute of his first career start at Oakland. He found the net again on the third weekend of the season in NIU's 4-0 victory over Portland.

Kannah Finds the Net
After scoring four times in three preseason exhibition games, freshman Isaac Kannah found the net for the first time in the regular season when he scored the lone goal in NIU's 1-0 victory over Valparaiso. Kannah's unassisted tally broke a deadlock against the Crusaders in the 85th minute.

Last Time Out
Gael Rivera scored the lone goal in the 93rd minute as NIU defeated UC Davis, 1-0, in overtime. Jordan Godsey made four saves against the Aggies as he recorded his fourth shutout of the season.

The Luzzi File
Northern Illinois head coach Eric Luzzi is in his third season as the head coach for the Huskies. Luzzi has a record of 25-15-3 at the helm of NIU. The Huskies' head man spent three seasons as an assistant at NIU before taking becoming the head coach. In his first season at NIU, Luzzi helped the program win the MAC Championship and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Sloan's Game Winners Earn Weekly Accolades
Senior Pat Sloan was named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Week and was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week following his performance in the Michigan Invitational. Sloan netted the game-winning goal against both Oakland and Michigan to help the Huskies win the Michigan Invitational. The two goals were the first of Sloan's NIU career.

Four Huskies Earn All-Tournament Honors at Michigan
En route to winning the Michigan Invitational, four Huskies, seniors Pat Sloan, Francis Otira and Brad Horton, along with junior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey, were named to the Michigan Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Up Next
NIU will begin Mid-American Conference play as it hosts Buffalo on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.



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