Oct. 8, 2013
Game Notes in PDF
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (3-7-0) at NORTHWESTERN (7-3-0)
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Location: Lakeside Field, Evanston, Ill.
Live Video: Big Ten Digital Network on NUSports.com
Live Stats: NUSports.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
The Northern Illinois men’s soccer team will travel to Evanston, Ill., on Wednesday evening to face the defending Big Ten champion Northwestern Wildcats. Last season, the Huskies earned a 1-0 victory over the Wildcats in Evanston on a 91st minute overtime winner from Charlie Oliver.
NOTE THE TIME CHANGE
Wednesday’s contest at Northwestern will begin at 7 p.m. The match was originally scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Wildcats come into Wednesday’s contest with a 7-3-0 record, but have lost each of their last two contests, falling in overtime to Bradley, 3-2, and in double overtime to Michigan State, 3-2. Prior to last week, Northwestern had climbed as high as fifth in the NSCAA Poll, the Wildcats check in at No. 14 this week. Joey Calistri leads the way offensively for the Wildcats with 10 goals, tied for the most in the nation. Tyler Miller has played all 10 matches in goal for Northwestern, Miller has a 0.95 goals against average and a .787 save percentage.
Coach Luzzi on the Wildcats
“To be honest, it’s the same Northwestern team that I have seen for the past seven years. They are good, they are organized, they play the game very simply and they rarely beat themselves. It’s the same team, with just different personnel, that they have every year. They are very effective at what they do; they are a top-15, top-20 team every year.
“It’s going to be a tough game but, after this past weekend, this is a game that is about us, not necessarily for us to worry about Northwestern. I think our group would readily admit that last Saturday was not the best account that we could have for ourselves. Right now I am focused on having a good response and making sure that our performance, offensively, defensively and in all the little details, battle, competitive mentality, set pieces, making sure all of that is sharp.”
Another Big Ten Foe
The Wildcats will be the third of three Big Ten opponents NIU will face this season. The Huskies dropped a 2-0 decision on the opening weekend of the season at Ohio State (Sept. 1) and fell at Michigan State, 2-0, (Sept. 28). NIU has defeated at least one Big Ten opponent in each of the last four seasons. (2009: Wisconsin, 2010: Northwestern and Wisconsin, 2011: Michigan, 2012: Northwestern).
Back to the Lakefront
Wednesday’s contest will be NIU’s third of the season in Evanston after splitting a pair of games against Farleigh Dickinson and St. Mary’s (CA) in the Northwestern Lakeside Classic. As tournament partners, the Huskies and Wildcats have competed in back-to-back games on four occasions in their respective tournaments before meeting each other Wednesday night.
As has been customary under Eric Luzzi, Northern Illinois has put together another challenging schedule in 2013. Five Huskie opponents are ranked in this week’s NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll (No. 14 Northwestern, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 20 Akron, No. 21 Butler, No. 24 Wisconsin-Milwaukee) while one additional foes (Saint Louis) is among those receiving votes in the poll.
On the Road Again
NIU’s trip to Northwestern is the third game of a four-game road trip which won’t return the Huskies to DeKalb until Oct. 22. Following the contest in Evanston, the Huskies will travel to Bowling Green (Oct. 12) to conclude the trop. Including two neutral site games in Evanston prior to the road trip in September, NIU is in the midst of a season-long six-game stretch away from home.
Following Wednesday’s match, the Huskies will return to conference play as they travel to Bowling Green on Saturday, Oct. 12, to face the Falcons. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.