ILLINOIS 2, BUFFALO 0
0-6-0 in the MAC
now 3-11-2, 2-3-0 in the MAC
NIU --- Bernhard Hagevik
(Kevin Woerner assist), six-yard header off corner kick, 19:27 Gone,
NIU --- Kevin Woerner (Eric O'Reilly, Jose Alvarado assists), 14-yarder
from right side in transition, 79:57 Gone, 2nd Half.
MEN CONTINUE HOME-FIELD RUN WITH 2-0 VICTORY OVER BUFFALO; KENTUCKY
NEXT FOR NIU
IL---For the Northern Illinois University men's soccer team, Sunday's
(Oct. 26) match versus the University at Buffalo was billed as Senior
Recognition Day. But Huskie freshman Kevin Woerner (Elmhurst / York)
took the spotlight from his elder statesmen, scoring a goal and
an assist to lead NIU to a 2-0 victory in Mid-American Conference
Illinois won its third consecutive home match, improving to 3-11-2
overall and 2-3-0 in the MAC. NIU---which snapped a four-match overall
losing streak Sunday---has not lost in DeKalb since Sept. 21 and
is now 3-2-2 on its home field this season. Buffalo dropped its
eighth match in a row, slipping to 1-11-3 overall and finishing
the MAC schedule at 0-6-0.
"Making a statement in this conference is something that we've
been trying to do. The last two times we startedt hat, but we didn't
get the results we wanted," Northern Illinois coach Steve Simmons
said, referring to 1-0 losses at the University of Akron and Western
Michigan University last weekend. "The guys are building a
bit of a home-field advantage here, and that's something we want
to capitalize on."
Woerner set up the first strike of the afternoon midway through
the first half, as his corner kick found Bernhard Hagevik (Oslo,
Norway / Wang Academy) open in front of the net. Hagevik's six-yard
header eluded UB netminder Christ Vavrina for his second goal of
the season, and stood up for a 1-0 lead at intermission. Woerner
then added an insurance tally with 10:03 remaining, notching his
first collegiate goal after Eric O'Reilly (Geneva) steered Jose
Alvarado's (Elgin / Burlington Central) long pass. A charging Woerner
took the ball for a 14-yarder into the left side of the net and
put the match out of reach.
"I'm so happy for Kevin, because he has worked so hard all
season," Simmons said. "And (senior defender) Jason Sullivan
(Quincy / Notre Dame) showed the heart of a warrior today. To get
a shutout like this is great. They're making a statement to the
rest of the league, and (freshman goalkeeper) Matt Corcoran (Downers
Grove / North) has come up with the big saves in the last three
games. He's still learning his way, but the shutout should give
us a confidence boost."
Corcoran registered four saves for his second shutout of the season
while Northern Illinois rolled up a 22-15 edge in shots.
"I hope this can set the tempo going into the MAC tournament,"
the Huskie sideline boss added. "This last week is vital for
momentum and to make this team feel like we're legitimate contenders."
The Huskies' home-field streak faces a stiff challenge in the regular-season
finale on Friday (Oct. 31). The University of Kentucky visits DeKalb
for a 2:30 p.m. match, looking to complete an undefeated run through
the MAC. UK secured the top seed in the league tournament Sunday
with a 1-0 victory at Marshall, climbing to 5-0-0 in the conference.
-30- --- Copy by Robert Hester