Dec. 22, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Northern Illinois freshman midfielder Brad Horton is no stranger to national recognition. The former NSCAA High School All-American earned all-conference honors in 2008, and the accolades continue to come in for the Sycamore, Ill. native.
Horton was named to the 2008 College Soccer News All-Freshman Second Team, recognizing him as one of the top first-year players in collegiate soccer.
"Brad goes about business in a very hard-working, modest fashion," head coach Steve Simmons said. "He's very much a team player, and when that attitude is recognized by coaches and media around the country, it's quite a tribute to our program, to the team, and to Brad."
Horton is Northern Illinois' first member of a national freshman all-America team on record. Simmons, who has turned the Huskies into perennial contender for the MAC Championship, was quick to thank the players and teams who helped bring the program back to prominence, with four 10-win seasons in the last five years.
"The people that were here during my early years are very much a part of laying the foundation so we can recruit guys like Brad, who can perform on a national stage," Simmons said. "Without those early pieces, we wouldn't be where we are today."
Horton helped the 11-6-4 Huskies to a 4-1-1 record and second place finish in the Mid-American Conference. He was one of only five field players to appear all 21 matches for NIU, and started 18. Horton led the team and ranked third in the conference with six goals. He also paced the Huskies with 15 points, good for fourth in the MAC.
The All-MAC Second Team selection developed an early reputation for coming through in the clutch. Four of his six goals this season were game-winners, including the overtime score that lifted the Huskies to a 1-0 victory of then-No. 2 SMU. He also netted game-winning goals against San Francisco, Xavier, and Bowling Green.
Horton, one of NIU's corner and free kick specialists, also chalked up three assists, helping goals against Xavier, Western Michigan and in the MAC Tournament match against Bowling Green.
The Huskies completed 2008 with a second place finish in the MAC, falling in the championships match in a double-overtime thriller to No. 4 Akron.