Soccer Rebounds With Critical 1-0 MAC Shutout of No. 20-Rated Buffalo
DeKalb, IL Playing a third straight Top 25-rated
squad, the Northern Illinois University mens soccer
squad rebounded Sunday with a hard-fought 1-0
Mid-American Conference victory over No. 20-rated
University at Buffalo.
to averting a third straight loss, the
Huskies gave their seniors an extra special memory for
their home finale as NIU locked up the second of two
first-round byes for the MAC Postseason Tournament by
improving to 3-1-0 in league play and 10-4-2 overall.
to 12-3-1 overall and finishes 2-2-1 in
MAC play as does Western Michigan University, which
was a 2-0 loser Sunday to nationally No. 1-rated
University of Akron. UAs Zips captured the MAC
regular-season title with a 5-0-0 league record for
the No. 1 seed and other bye along with No. 2 seed
NIU, which still has a conference date left against
new affiliate member Indiana University-Purdue
University at Fort Wayne (IPFW).
this was an unbelievable response by our
team after such a tough loss on Friday, Huskie head
coach Steve Simmons insisted, referring to NIUs 5-1
thumping at top-ranked Akron. Having been beaten like
that and having to turn around and face another top 20
team, it couldve been easy to tank this one. But we
came up with a great effort, and I think its a
heckuva a way to send off our seniors.
which had earlier been the third
MAC team to appear in a Top 25 mens soccer poll this
season, came out battling the No. 20 Bulls from the
start as the Huskies had a shot off the post in the
opening half. But it took an extra 2:17 into the
second half for the scoreless tie to be broken as
Chris Rufa (Downers Grove / South) headed home Bryan
Abdallahs (Aurora / Waubonsie Valley) assist.
a solid goal and being a top 20 team,
Buffalo pushed us to the very end, but we were playing
with focus and determination, Simmons added. I
really have to credit all the seniors. I thought
Brendon Parrish (Rockford / Auburn) had a tremendous
game. Steve Goletz (Downers Grove / South) got
another shutout; Eric OReilly (Geneva) was a tiger
out there and Paul Gabel (Dunoon, Scotland / Dunoon
Academy) gave us great leadership, particularly in the
OReilly, Gabel and Chris Brown
(Mesa, AZ / Highland) were all honored in pre-game
ceremonies. For Goletz, Sundays contest marked his
16th career shutout in net.
which dipped to fifth in the last
Midwest Regional, hits the road for a Wednesday 7 p.m.
contest at Bradley University, the No. 6-rated squad
in the same regional poll. Then a week later on Nov.
2, the Huskies complete the regular-season and MAC
slate with a 6 p.m. visit to the Mastadons from IPFW.
information, please contact Steve Nemeth) NIU