Nov. 12, 2010
CLEVELAND - Four members of the Northern Illinois' men's soccer team earned spots on the All-Mid-American Conference Second Team, the league revealed Thursday.
Seniors Luis Mojica and Juan Hoyos, junior Francis Otira, and freshman Mino Kayser were voted onto the team by the league's coaches. The Huskies had the second-most players named to the team, behind only conference champion Akron.
"All four guys are very deserving," NIU head coach Eric Luzzi said. "We had a very talented team this year."
It was the first All-MAC recognition for all four players, including the two seniors. Hoyos led the Huskies with five goals and 11 points. Mojica tied for second on the team with seven points on two goals and three assists.
"All of our seniors really put a lot of time and effort in and the fact that we were able to get two of them recognized is a great honor," Luzzi said. "It's certainly well-deserved considering their commitment to our program and how much they've improved in their time with us."
As a defender, Otira scored one goal and registered two assists. But it was his command of the defense that ranked 17th nationally in goals against average that made him one of the best in the MAC.
"Francis allows our team to play the way we want to play," Luzzi said. "His verbal presence and organization of the back four and whole team in front of him allows his guys to go do what they do, because we know with Francis things are always going to be very tight in the back."
Kayser is the first Huskie freshman to be named All-MAC since Brad Horton earned second-team honors in 2008. Kayser finished his inaugural campaign at NIU with three assists, including two in the Huskies' win over Northwestern.
"Mino's selection shows two things, first the quality of our freshman class as a whole," Luzzi said. "We had a number of guys who played pretty good minutes as freshmen. Second, Mino's quality is clear for everyone to see. So even though he didn't score a goal, or didn't get a ton of assists, it's easy for the rest of the coaches in the league to see his quality because he is so good."
The Huskies finished the 2010 campaign with a 9-6-2 record, including a 2-0 record against the Big Ten. NIU won its final three matches of the year, punctuated by a 5-1 victory over Milwaukee to retain the Lewang Cup.