Sept. 30, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. - The No. 18 ranked Northern Illinois men's soccer team returns home on Saturday when it hosts Buffalo in its Mid-American Conference opener. The Huskies and Bulls will meet at 1 p.m. at the NIU Soccer Complex.
Following the Match Against Buffalo
The game against Buffalo can be followed via Gametracker at NIUHuskies.com. Live video is also available via Huskie All-Access.
The Bulls come to DeKalb with a 5-5-1 overall record and fell to Duquesne, 2-0, last Sunday (Sept. 25). Andy Tiedt leads Buffalo in scoring with four goals and one assist, Jonathan Viscosi has started 10-of-11 matches in goal for the Bulls and has a 1.30 goals against average and a 80.3 save percentage. Last season, Buffalo defeated NIU, 3-2, in Buffalo.
Luzzi on the Buffalo Match
"Everything will be ramped up because it is conference play. We expect our guys to continue to do what they have been doing, we want to get the ball down and we want to play, we also want to make sure that our guys manage the emotions that accompany a conference game. Of Buffalo's starting 11, only two or three were on their team last year, so for the most part we will be playing a completely different team from what we have seen in the past."
Huskies Moving Back Up the Polls
With its win over Drake last week, NIU made a small jump in this week's national polls. The Huskies moved up two spots to No. 18 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America ranking. NIU is also 18th in the College Soccer News and Soccer Times polls. The Huskies come in 19th this week according to Soccer America.
Youth Will Be Served
Led by three goals each from sophomore Gael Rivera and freshman Paul Hogan, the NIU men's soccer team has seen its young players lead the way offensively. In total, 11 of the 13 goals scored by the Huskies this season have come from freshmen and sophomores.
Godsey Among Nation's Best
Junior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey is ranked among the best goalkeepers in the nation in both goals against average and save percentage. Godsey has the 12th-best goals against average in the nation at 0.495 and the 13th-best save percentage at 86.2 percent.
Last Time Out
James Stevenson scored the lone goal in the 26th minute as the Huskies defeated Drake, 1-0, last Saturday (Sept. 24). Jordan Godsey made seven saves as the NIU defense recorded its fifth shutout in eight games.
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.
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.
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 26-15-3 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.
The Huskies will play a pair of road games this coming week, beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Marquette. NIU will then travel to defending national champion Akron on Saturday, Oct. 8.