Aug. 30, 2012
ILLINOIS STATE REDBIRDS
Date: Friday, August 31, 2012
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: NIU Soccer Complex
Date: Sunday, September 2, 2012
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: NIU Soccer Complex
Live Video: NIUHuskies.com/allaccess
Live Stats: NIUHuskies.com
Twitter Updates: @NIUscores
ABOUT ILLINOIS STATE
The Redbirds have marched through the 2012 campaign unscathed, owning a 2-0-2 record in their first two week. In its opening weekend, Illinois State won at Southeast Missouri State, 2-1, and followed with a 1-1 tie when it hosted No. 19 Illinois. With Hurricane Isaac looming, the Redbirds were in Ft. Myers, Fla., opening with a 7-0 drubbing of Florida Atlantic at Florida Gulf Coast's tournament. Versus the host, ISU was in a 2-0 hole Sunday afternoon, but tied the match in the second half on two goals by Rachel Tejada.
THE REDBIRD TO WATCH...
ISU sophomore Rachel Tejada has been the key to success for Illinois State this season, accounting for seven goals and one assist. She's the two-time reigning Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Tejada was a consensus Freshman All-American in 2011 after scoring 21 goals and nine assists.
Loyola has opened its season with a 1-2 record, winning its first match of the season and falling in its last two contests. Playing at DePaul Aug. 19 and defeating the Blue Demons, 1-0. Last weekend, the Ramblers toured Big-10 country, falling to Iowa, 4-0, and also falling 4-0 to No. 20 Wisconsin. LU has been outscored by its opponents, 8-1, in their first three games.
THE RAMBLER TO WATCH...
Tricia Stonebraker is the lone goal scorer for Loyola this season, contributing at DePaul in the Ramblers season opener. the native of Anchorage Alaska was named to the Horizon League's All-Newcomer team in 2010 after scoring three goals that season.
LAST TIME OUT
Northern Illinois split its opening weekend Aug. 17 and 19, faling to Drake, 2-1, and defeating SIU-Edwardsville, 1-0. The Huskies were even with the Bulldogs at the half, 0-0, and quickly fell behind at the start of the second period. NIU tied the match in the 68th minute on a goal by Anna-Roman Pleschko, but the Huskies fell, in the 78th minute, 2-1. NIU battled back two days later at SIUE on a golden goal by Cori Frankenberg in the 48th minute to grind out the first win of the year.
A BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT
In her first ever appearance for the Huskies Friday Aug. 17, senior Anna Roman-Pleschko scored to draw NIU even with Drake, 1-1, late in the contest. She became the first Northern Illinois women's soccer player to score in her debut since Jestina Orlando did against IUPUI Aug. 31, 2007. Roman-Pleschko transferred to NIU from Michigan Tech in 2011 and redshirted last season.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Jestina Orlando, like Anna Roman-Pleschko, was a transfer to Northern Illinois, originally playing at North Dakota State during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. First year Head Coach John spent nine seasons on the Bison sidelines (2003-11), recruiting Orlando to NDSU and coaching her in her first two seasons.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
In their opening weekend at Drake and SIU-Edwardsville, five Huskies made their collegiate debut for the Cardinal and Black. See "The Fab-Five" listed below.
Emily Nulty, Anna Roman-Pleshcko *, Katrina Rozzell, Sara Spaulding, Kate Wirthlin
* Senior. Transferred to NIU in 2011.
IT'S BEEN AWHILE
The Huskies and the Redbirds have a long standing tradition. Since 1996 the teams have played each other 13 times. All-time, Northern Illinois trails Illinois State in the series, 3-9-1 and last defeated ISU in 1998, a 2-1 victory. NIU has never shutout Illinois State and earned the series only draw in 2005, 1-1.
A PERFECT 10
That expression can be used 1,000 different ways. On Aug. 19 when the Huskies defeated SIU-Edwardsville, 1-0, junior Amy Carr earned her 10th career shutout in net. She's now second all-time at NIU in that category, behind former MAC record holder, Lindsay Curnock (25).
20-YEARS AND RUNNING STRONG
The Huskies began their 20th season Aug. 17 at Drake and own the honor of being the Mid-American Conference's oldest program. When NIU kicked off against Drake, it was the Huskies 365th contest. NIU has won two MAC Championships in their time and has reached the tournament championship three times since the conference began sponsoring women's soccer in 1997.
YOUNG FOLKS, TALKING `BOUT THE YOUNG STYLE
When the Huskies played their first soccer game September 5, 1993, 12 members of the team were not born yet. NIU kicked off its program with a 7-0 win over Valparaiso, coincidentally, where NIU played its first exhibition match of the 2012 season.
Northern Illinois will hope to rebound after a 2011 season that saw the team finish 2-15-2 overall and 1-9 in the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies were selected to finish 11th in this season's MAC Coaches Poll with 14 points, three points behind Bowling Green. Toledo was selected as the preseason favorite. Despite the low prognostication, the Huskies will be looking to qualify for the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2010.
Though exhibitions can have close to no correlation to the regular season, Northern Illinois finished 1-0-1 in the preseason and did not surrender a goal in their 180 minutes of play. Between the sticks, sophomore Deanna Libricz played 135 minutes in goal and was cool as a cucumber versus IPFW as she made two saves and was very quick to step and clear any passes or threats by the attack.
The Huskies will have a bye week August 24 and 26 and will return to DeKalb for their home-opening weekend August 31 and September 2, hosting Illinois State and Loyola at NIU Soccer Complex, respectively.