May 1, 2008
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team recently completed its spring exhibition schedule, its first under new head coach Carrie Barker. For the Huskies it was a time of adjustment and evaluation that was capped by a 2-0 victory over Wisconsin in the final match of the spring season.
"We used the spring as a time to evaluate our players and learn their strengths and weaknesses," said Barker. "Several players were moved around to various positions for experimentation in our seven exhibition matches."
The Huskies return several key members of last season's team that went 10-5-5 and advanced to the MAC semifinals for the second consecutive year.
"Our main focus was to continuously evaluate and to peak as a team at the end of the spring," said Barker. "I thought our team worked hard throughout the spring and I was pleased with how we ended and look forward to competition in the fall."
With a new coaching staff that includes Barker and first-year assistant Jason Burr as well as returning assistant Merit Stloukal, the spring served as a time to make adjustments and start preparing for the 2008 campaign.
As the Huskies worked on developing under their first-year coach, the win over Wisconsin was a reward for the efforts put forth throughout the spring.
"I was impressed with our team chemistry and work ethic and how the team did what was asked of them," said Barker. "We got better throughout the spring and I thought the last game was our best example of putting everything together."
As part of the final exhibition match, the Huskies held an alumnae weekend that culminated in an alumnae match and a gathering of 20 former players.
"Our alumnae weekend was great," said Barker. "It was nice to have the support of the alums and the community. We had a great turnout at the game and for our post-game event. I look forward to having more events like that in the future."