Aug. 28, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team opens its 2007 season this weekend by hosting the NIU Tournament at the Huskie Soccer Field. On Friday, NIU hosts IUPUI at 4 p.m. and hosts Iowa Sunday at 11 a.m.
The Huskies began the year with a pair of exhibition games in Orlando, both 1-1 ties, against USF and UCF and spent the week training in the Sunshine State. After reaching the MAC Championship game a year ago and enjoying the school's best season in nearly a decade, this 2007 NIU squad, which returns 10 of 11 starters, is eager to start the new season.
"We are excited to start the new season," said associate head coach Paul Jobson. "The preseason was a great experience and we learned a lot. Now the games count and our team is ready for that challenge. Being in Florida was great, but our girls are happy to be able to play on their home field."
In addition to IUPUI and Iowa, the tournament field includes Navy, a perennial NCAA contender who received votes in the preseason national rankings.
NIU and IUPUI will have their first meeting on Friday. Last season, the Jaguars finished fifth in the Mid-Continent Conference, now known as the Summit League.
The Huskies have met Iowa four times previously with the Hawkeyes holding a 3-1 all-time series lead. Head coach Ron Rainey, a former MAC Coach of the Year at Ball State, is in his second season at Iowa.
"I am excited about the teams we have in the field and it should be a great weekend of soccer," said Jobson. "We've got an up-and-coming Big Ten program and a nationally-ranked team, but the first thing on our mind is IUPUI. They have depth, athleticism, and a lot of new players, so they will be a good match for us."
Live coverage of NIU's matches will be available on GameTracker via niuhuskies.com.
NIU Tournament Schedule all matches at the Huskie Soccer Field in DeKalb
Friday: Iowa vs. Navy, 2 p.m.; NIU vs. IUPUI, 4 p.m.
Sunday: NIU vs. Iowa, 11 a.m.; Navy vs. IUPUI, 1 p.m.