Nov. 1, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men's soccer team concludes the Mid-American Conference regular season schedule Friday, when it faces Bowling Green at noon.
"Bowling Green is a team that has improved significantly," NIU head coach Steve Simmons said. "They're organized defensively, scrappy, and they compete hard."
The Huskies (5-7-4, 1-2-1 MAC) are currently tied with the Falcons (5-9-3, 1-2-1 MAC) for the fourth seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament. The winner of Friday's match-up will likely earn the right to host a MAC semifinal match, Nov. 16.
"There is some significance as far as seeding, because the three and four seeds host, and that's huge," Simmons said. "Both teams know what's at stake, so it's going to be a dogfight."
With a win, Northern Illinois could finish as high as third in the conference standings, assuming Hartwick, the current third seed, doesn't defeat Buffalo.
The Huskies are coming off an up-and-down week in which they defeated No. 9 Northwestern in double-overtime, then lost to Hartwick 3-0 four days later.
"The belief factor has got to be there, and as long as it's there, we're good enough to beat anyone in the country," Simmons said. "But we're also good enough to lose to most team's in the country. The good news is, the ball is in our court."
The Falcons are coming off wins over Detroit and Western Michigan by a combined scored of 6-2, and celebrate their senior day, Friday.
"They just had a big win over Western Michigan, and they've had some tight results go the wrong away against Big Ten teams," Simmons said, referencing Bowling Green's 1-0 losses to Ohio State and Michigan State.
After facing the Falcons, the Huskies return to DeKalb Nov. 6 to face UW-Milwaukee in the final match of the regular season.