Huskies Face Midweek Test at Undefeated Marquette

GO HUSKIES Jayson LeSeth scored the overtime game-winner against Marquette last season
Jayson LeSeth scored the overtime game-winner against Marquette last season

Oct. 8, 2012

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Northern Illinois (3-5-2) at Marquette (11-0-0)
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Time: 7:05 p.m. CT
Location: Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wis.
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About Marquette
The Golden Eagles are a perfect 11-0-0 this season, having defeated second-ranked Connecticut 3-2 on Saturday. Andy Huftalin leads Marquette with six goals; he is one of three players for the Golden Eagles with double-digit points thus far. Marquette and NIU have a trio of common opponents, both having played UW Milwaukee, UW Green Bay and Drake. Charlie Lyon has played all 11 matches in goal for Marquette with a 0.61 goals against average and six shutouts.

Last season the Huskies earned a 1-0 double overtime victory over Marquette, Jayson LeSeth scored the golden goal for NIU in the 107th minute.

The Toughest Week in the Country
NIU begins what is likely the toughest schedule this week for any team in the country on Tuesday when it travels to Marquette. After playing the 11-0-0 Golden Eagles on Tuesday, the Huskies will return home to host Akron, who enters the week 7-1-2. Both Marquette and Akron rank in the top-10 in all of the national polls.

Rivera Strikes Again
Gael Rivera scored his team-best fourth goal of the season to lead the Huskies to a 1-0 victory over Hartwick (Oct. 6). Rivera found the net in the 68th minute to keep NIU perfect in conference play while also tying him with James Stevenson for the team lead in points. Rivera has eight points on four goals while Stevenson has eight points via three goals and two assists.

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 30 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.   

Stevenson Leads the Line
James Stevenson scored for the second time in three games when he tallied in the 67th minute of a 2-0 victory over Florida Atlantic (Sept. 30). Stevenson’s marker against the Owls was his third goal of the season, and the 12th of his NIU career. Stevenson also recorded an assist on Isaac Kannah’s opening goal against FAU. The Falkirk, Scotland native is currently tied for the team lead with eight points (three goals, two assists).

Isaac Off the Mark
Isaac Kannah scored his first goal of the season in the conference opener against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 30). Kannah got the opening goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, in the 24th minute against the Owls. The goal was Kannah’s first of the season, and the third of his NIU career.

Kannah followed the goal with his first assist of the season in the following game against Hartwick (Oct. 6).

Shutting Out the MAC
With its 1-0 victory over Hartwick (Oct. 6), NIU has now posted seven shutouts in its last eight matches against conference opponents. The Huskies ended last year with back-to-back clean sheets over Buffalo and Western Michigan in the conference tournament. The last MAC team to score against NIU was Hartwick. The Hawks claimed a 64th minute goal last season on Nov. 5, in a 2-1 NIU victory.  

Pritchard Does His Part
Freshman Matt Pritchard has recorded assists in two of the last four matches for the Huskies. The Omaha, Neb., native registered his first collegiate point against Denver (Sept. 21) on a goal by Gael Rivera. He recorded another assist against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 30) on James Stevenson’s 67th minute marker. Pritchard has appeared in five matches this season.  

Scoring Duo Earn All-Tournament Honors at New Mexico
Gael Rivera and James Stevenson, NIU’s goalscorers, earned All-Tournament recognition at the Nike Lobo Invitational. For Rivera, the honor was his second of the season, he was also named to the NIU adidas Invitational All-Tournament Team.

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 at Northwestern
Charlie Oliver and Pat Sloan were named to the All-Tournament Team 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.        

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.

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 have already played No. 5 New Mexico and No. 24 Creighton, while No. 7 Akron, No. 9 Marquette and No. 22 Northwestern still remain on the slate.

The Luzzi File
Eric Luzzi is in his fourth season as the head coach at Northern Illinois. Luzzi has compiled a 37-25-5 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
Northern Illinois will welcome conference rival, and seventh-ranked, Akron to DeKalb on Saturday. The Huskies and Zips will kickoff at noon.



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