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August 27, 2003


DeKALB, IL---Northern Illinois University women's soccer coach Frank Horvat boasts two Mid-American Conference championships during his tenure in DeKalb. When the veteran sideline boss talks about what it takes to return the Huskies back to the glory days and competition for MAC titles in the future, he can now point to Exhibit A in the form of new assistant coach Allison Wade.

One of the most decorated players in NIU women's soccer history, Wade replaces Joe McCauley, who left in July to become the head women's soccer coach at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.

"I'm extremely excited to have Allison return to the program," Horvat said. "With her being a past member of this team, it's great to have Allison back here. She can provide a different insight and point of view, and she will definitely add to the chemistry of this team. She'll be able to help get the message across to the players and can assist me in a number of areas. I really look forward to the future with her here."

Wade played two years (1996-97) for Horvat at Northern Illinois after transferring from Indiana University. She made an immediate impact as a junior, establishing a (then-)school single-season record with 12 goals and 28 points before suffering a hip flexor injury which limited her playing time over the final three weeks of the season. She still earned First-Team All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference honors plus the league's Newcomer citation after tying for sixth place on the MCC's final scoring charts.

Wade's scoring record lasted exactly one season before she shattered the mark during NIU's record-setting campaign in 1997. The St. Charles native hit the net 19 times with seven assists, a 45-point total which topped the Mid-American Conference charts that year and remains etched on the top rung of the MAC record books. The last two of those 19 markers came in the MAC championship match, including the match-winner to push Northern Illinois past Eastern Michigan University, 3-2, for the inaugural Mid-Am title. Wade was named the Mid-Am's first Player of the Year following the Huskies' 12-6-2 campaign which included 25 school records.

"Allison knows what it took during the offseason and in-season to get prepared for the MAC," Horvat added. "Her passion and vision will be important assets. She knows where we want to go and has an idea of how to help us get there."

The St. Charles High School product established another Huskie record by hitting the net in six consecutive matches as a senior when she was one of only three players to win both First-Team All-MAC honors plus Academic All-Conference notice. Wade graduated as NIU's all-time leading scorer with 31 goals and 73 points despite playing just two years in DeKalb. At the start of the 2003 campaign, she trails only Anne Mucci (43 goals, 129 points from 1995-98) on both of those lists in Northern Illinois history.

In addition to her conference honors, Wade earned Second-Team All-Region accolades from SoccerBuzz magazine plus Third-Team All-Great Lakes Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) in 1997. She also garnered Huskie Scholar accolades through the NIU Athletics Department's Academic Excellence program.

At St. Charles High School, Wade hit the net 23 times to help the Saints to an undefeated ledger and the IHSA state championship in the spring of 1994. Her match-winner in the title contest was the 98th of her high school career, one which also included a Louisiana state title as part of Ecole Classique High School in 1992. She was a two-time All-State selection there before coming to Illinois prior to her senior season.

Since receiving her bachelor of science degree in marketing from Northern Illinois in 1999, Wade has filled a variety of roles within the university, including time as a graduate assistant in the NIU Athletics Ticket Office and as part of the Huskies' Information Technology staff from 1999-2001. She was most recently employed in NIU's Convocation Center, serving as Event Services Manager since last July.

"I am grateful to (Convocation Center Director) John Gordon and his staff for allowing me to open a state-of-the-art facility in a first-class manner here at Northern Illinois," Wade said about the university's 10,000-seat arena which opened last summer. "I look forward to the challenges under the leadership and direction of Coach Horvat and being an integral part of the success of the women's soccer program. I am thrilled at the opportunity to influence a women's soccer program that has made such a positive impact on me."

The 27-year-old Wade received her master of science degree in sports management in 2002. She is engaged to be married to current NIU men's basketball assistant coach Mike Shepherd next May.

-- Copy by Robert Hester