Oct. 21, 2011
DEKALB, Ill. -- The Northern Illinois men’s soccer team will play its final home regular season game on Sunday as it hosts Florida Atlantic at 1 p.m., at the NIU Soccer Complex.
Following the Match Against Florida Atlantic
Gametracker is available at NIUHuskies.com. Live video is also available at NIUHuskies.com via Huskie All-Access.
About Florida Atlantic
Florida Atlantic comes to DeKalb with a 5-5-2 record, 0-2-1 in Mid-American Conference play. The Owls will have 15 days between games heading into their meeting with NIU, having last played on Oct. 8, a 1-1 draw at home against Western Michigan. Darnell King is the leading scorer for FAU with five goals and three assists. Jeremy Crumpton has recorded the decision in all 12 matches for the Owls, posting a 1.54 goals against average and a .774 save percentage.
Luzzi on the Florida Atlantic Match
“I’m pretty sure that if we didn’t have a game for two weeks, at their first opportunity to play our guys would be pretty up for the game. So we are going to have to match their energy, but that shouldn’t be an issue. It is our senior day, which is a big deal, I have always said that it’s hard to get through four years as a Division I athlete, there are a lot of things that can happen, that can derail that journey. I have always had the utmost respect for seniors and I think that the rest of the guys on our team feel the same way. We have had good fortune in our senior days since I have been here, so I would expect that our group will play the way we have been training and send the seniors off the way they deserve.”
Prior to Sunday’s match against the Owls, NIU will honor its six seniors playing their final regular season home game at the NIU Soccer Complex. Seniors Brad Horton (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore), Johnny Tyma (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein), Kenny Kranz (Champaign, Ill./Centennial), Finn Jor (Oslo, Norway/Academy for Elite Athletes), Tim King (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Contant) and Francis Otira (London, England/Finchley Catholic) will be honored prior to the game.
Youth Will Be Served
Led by four goals from sophomore James Stevenson (Falkirk, Scotland/St. Mungo’s) and three goals each from sophomore Gael Rivera (Oslo, Norway/WANG Elite Sports Academy) and freshman Paul Hogan (Downers Grove, Ill./North), the NIU men's soccer team has seen its young players lead the way offensively. In total, 15 of the 18 goals scored by the Huskies this season have come from freshmen and sophomores.
James Stevenson scored a pair of goals in a 3-0 win over Western Michigan, vaulting him into the team lead in scoring. Stevenson has a team-high four goals and a team-best nine points. Stevenson has just seven shots on goal this season, meaning 57 percent of his shots on goal find the back of the net.
All He Scores Are Game Winners
Pat Sloan registered NIU’s first goal in a 3-0 victory over Western Michigan, his third goal of the season. Along with his game winning goals against Oakland and Michigan earlier this season, all three of Sloan’s markers have turned out to be game winners. No other Huskie has more than one game-winning goal this season.
Godsey Among Nation's Best
Coming into play this week, junior goalkeeper Jordan Godsey (Ocean Springs, Miss./Ocean Springs) ranks among the nation’s best goalkeepers in goals against average. Godsey is currently 29th in the national rankings with a 0.803 GAA. The Huskies also rank 19th in the nation in shutout percentage, holding opponents goalless in half of their matches this season. On Wednesday, Godsey posted his seventh shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over Western Michigan.
Of its 18 goals scored this season, the Huskies have an even split of eight goals in the first half of games and eight in the second half. The other two NIU goals have come in overtime. Opponents of the Huskies have also scored in a balanced manner this season, with four goals in the first half, four in the second half and two in overtime.
LeSeth Makes Eight
Freshman Jayon LeSeth’s (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West) game-winning goal at Marquette on Tuesday night was the first goal of his collegiate career. The marker also gave the Huskies eight different goal scorers on the season. In addition, 13 different NIU players have recorded at least one point.
Last Time Out
James Stevenson scored a pair of goals and Pat Sloan recorded a goal and an assist as the Northern Illinois men’s soccer team blanked Western Michigan 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon at the NIU Soccer Complex.
Paul Hogan has scored 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.
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.
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 28-18-3 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.
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, sophomore Karim Darbaki (Faribualt, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s) and freshman Isaac Kannah (Plymouth, Minn./Prairie Seeds Academy) 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.
Sloan's Game Winners Earn Weekly Accolades
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, Pat Sloan, Francis Otira and Brad Horton, along with goalkeeper Jordan Godsey, were named to the Michigan Invitational All-Tournament Team.
NIU will begin a three-game road stretch to end the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Bowling Green. The match between the Huskies and Falcons is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.