Oct. 12, 2012
Game Notes in PDF
Northern Illinois (3-6-2, 2-0-0 MAC) vs. No. 3 Akron (8-1-2, 3-0-0 MAC)
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Time: 12 p.m. CT
Location: NIU Soccer Complex, DeKalb, Ill.
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com
Live Audio: NIUHuskies.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
Akron comes to DeKalb with an 8-1-2 record, 3-0-0 in Mid-American Conference play. The Zips are ranked third in the latest NSCAA poll and defeated Penn State, 2-0, in midweek. Akron has won five-straight matches and has posted six consecutive shutouts, last conceding a goal on Sept. 9 in a 3-1 loss to Notre Dame. Scott Caldwell leads the Zips with seven goals and four assists while David Meves has played all 11 matches in goal, posting a 0.44 goals against average and eight shutouts.
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.
In conjunction with Homecoming weekend, the Huskies will be honoring soccer alums at halftime of Saturday’s match.
The Toughest Week in the Country
NIU concludes what is likely the toughest schedule this week for any team in the country on Saturday when it hosts Akron. On Tuesday, the Huskies played fourth-ranked, undefeated Marquette, falling 1-0 in a very even affair. Saturday then wrap up the week against No. 3 Akron. The Zips will be the fourth top-five foe the Huskies have faced this season.
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.
Shutting Out the MAC
With its 1-0 victory over Hartwick (Oct. 6), NIU has 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.
Stevenson Leads the Line
James Stevenson scored his third goal of the season when he tallied in the 67th minute of a 2-0 victory over Florida Atlantic (Sept. 30). Stevenson’s marker against the Owls was 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).
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.
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.
A Challenging Slate
The 2012 schedule for NIU features four games against foes currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. The Huskies have already played No. 4 Marquette, No. 9 New Mexico and No. 24 Creighton, with No. 3 Akron next on the docket. In addition, Northwestern, NIU’s opponent on Oct. 24, is also receiving votes.
The Luzzi File
Eric Luzzi is in his fourth season as the head coach at Northern Illinois. Luzzi has compiled a 37-26-5 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.
NIU will travel to Valparaiso on Wednesday, Oct. 17, for a match slated to kickoff at 6:30 p.m.