Aug. 27, 2009
DEKALB, Ill. -
The Northern Illinois women's soccer team will open its 2009 season on the road this weekend as they travel to Valparaiso, Friday and Southeast Missouri State, Sunday. The Huskies will take on the Crusaders Friday at 4 p.m. in Valparaiso, Ind., before heading to Cape Girardeau, Mo. Sunday for a 2 p.m. match-up against the Redhawks.
Friday will mark the beginning of regular season play for the Huskies, who recorded a 1-0 win over Northwestern in NIU's lone exhibition game. In the match-up against the Wildcats, Northern Illinois held a strong defense throughout the game, preventing NU from scoring in any of their six attempts and causing the Wildcats to score on their own goal to give the Huskies a 1-0 advantage to win the game.
"It's the first competitive game, and I expect that we will put everything we learned from pre-season together for our first game," NIU head women's soccer coach Carrie Barker said. "We have been training, team bonding, we played an exhibition game, and to put everything together for our first game is going to be very exciting."
The Huskies hold a 6-0-1 all-time record over the Cardinals as the teams enter their eighth series match-up. Valparaiso will enter this weekend's game with a 0-2 record, recording losses against Morehead State (Aug. 21) and Michigan (Aug. 23).
NIU will face Southeast Missouri State for the second-consecutive year, and second time in school history, as the Huskies go into competition with a 1-0-0 series advantage. The first meeting between them came in 2008, when the Huskies claimed a 1-0 shutout victory over the Redhawks, Sept. 19, 2008. SEMO heads into the weekend with a 2-2 overall record this season, with a match-up against Alabama A & M, Friday, before they take on the Huskies.
"We are taking one game at a time," said Barker. "If we work extremely hard, work as a unit and put everything we've learned together for this first game, we can continue to build as we head into our next games."