Huskies Close Regular Season at Buffalo

GO HUSKIES Senior Mike Mascitti
Senior Mike Mascitti

Oct. 31, 2012

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Northern Illinois (5-9-3, 3-2-1 MAC) at Buffalo (5-10-1, 3-3-0 MAC)
Date: Friday, November 2, 2012
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Location: UB Stadium, Buffalo, N.Y.
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About Buffalo
The Bulls enter Friday's contest with a 5-10-1 record, 3-3-0 in the MAC. Buffalo has won three-straight games, posting shutout victories over Florida Atlantic, Western Michigan and Hartwick. Richard Craven leads the Bulls with 10 points from four goals and two assists. Jonathan Viscosi has made 14 appearances in goal for Buffalo; he has two shutouts and a 1.97 goals against average.

Last season the Bulls took a 2-1 double overtime decision against NIU in DeKalb.

The Race to the MAC Tournament
Akron has clinched the MAC regular season crown and will host the conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. With just three spots remaining in the tournament field, four teams (NIU, Bowling Green, West Virginia and Western Michigan) are currently tied for second-place with 3-2-1 conference records. Hartwick and Florida Atlantic are the only two school mathematically eliminated from making the tournament field.

Another Winner for Kannah
Isaac Kannah scored game-winning goal against West Virginia (Oct. 27) in the 84th minute, his second goal of the season. Kannah’s first tally was also a game-winner in conference play as he scored the opening goal in a 2-0 victory at Florida Atlantic (Sept. 30). Kannah has three game-winning goals in his NIU career, he also got the winner last season in a 1-0 victory against Valparaiso (Sept. 9, 2011).

Godsey Extends 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’s shutout last past Saturday against West Virginia (Oct. 27) puts his career total at 33. 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.

Godsey enters Friday’s match with a 0.80 career goals against average, the best mark in school history. 

Climbing the National List
Jordan Godsey’s shutout against West Virginia (Oct. 27) gave him 33 clean sheets in his collegiate career, the 11th-most in NCAA history. Godsey’s 32nd shutout broke a tie for 11th with current New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara (Fordham, 2008-11). The NCAA record for career shutout is 50, held by Josh Ford of Connecticut (2007-10).

Oliver’s First is Golden
Freshman Charlie Oliver scored his first collegiate goal against Northwestern (Oct. 24). Not only was the tally the first of his career, it was also an overtime game-winner. Oliver’s goal just 45 seconds into overtime broke a 0-0 deadlock and gave the Huskies their second win in three seasons against the Wildcats.

Pritchard Gets His First
Freshman Matt Pritchard scored the first goal of his collegiate career against Valparaiso (Oct. 17). Pritchard’s goal came in his ninth appearance for the Huskies. In addition to the goal, Pritchard has three assists this season and is currently tied for third on the team in points.

Rivera Leads With Four
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 help NIU to its second conference win of the season 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.

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).

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.

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.

A Challenging Slate
The 2012 schedule for NIU features four games against foes currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 25. The Huskies have played No. 2 Akron, No. 9 New Mexico, No. 10 Marquette and No. 16 Creighton.

The Luzzi File
Eric Luzzi is in his fourth season as the head coach at Northern Illinois. Luzzi has compiled a 39-29-6 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.

Up Next
The Mid-American Conference Tournament will begin next Friday, Nov. 9, at Akron.



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