Oct. 3, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team begins its defense of the 2006 Mid-American Conference Championship Friday, when the Huskies open MAC play at home against Western Michigan at 4 p.m.
For the Huskies (2-5-3), the match represents a new beginning to the 2007 season, according to head coach Steve Simmons.
"It's a new season, regardless of our record," he said. "All teams have a revitalized attitude about themselves, and the matches are always hard fought and fun for the fans."
The Broncos will step onto the field with a 5-5-0 record after defeating Detroit 1-0, Sunday. WMU's Tom Oatley leads the team with three goals, while Terry Dowding and Jordan Fylonenko have put in two each for the Broncos.
"I know sometimes records do not reflect it, but they have some talented pieces," Simmons said of the Broncos. "I know some of these kids from the (Olympic Development Program) and they can play."
The Huskies lead the all-time series between the two squads 12-5-1, and have won three of four matches against the Broncos since Simmons' arrival at NIU in 2003. Most recently, the Huskies captured a 4-1 win over WMU in Kalamazoo in 2006. Three Huskies scored in the match, all of whom will likely see action against the Broncos Friday.
The Huskies' match-up with the Broncos won't be the only action at Huskie Soccer Field this weekend. The women's team will battle Kent State Friday at 2 p.m., and both the men's and the women's team will be in action Sunday. The women take on Buffalo at 11 a.m., followed by Simmons' squad hosting Western Illinois at 1 p.m.