Sept. 21, 2006
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team opens its Mid-American Conference schedule this weekend with a trip to Bowling Green and Toledo. NIU faces the two-time defending conference champion Falcons Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. CT and continues up I-75 for a Sunday match against the Rockets at Noon CT.
After completing a challenging seven-game non-conference slate with a 1-4-2 mark, the young Huskie squad begins the rigors of the conference season with four straight road matches. Of NIU's seven goal scorers this season, five are underclassmen, including three freshmen.
"It is exciting to finally get into the MAC schedule," head coach Marci Miller said. "Our preseason has prepared us by playing against tough competition against seven solid teams. Our young players gained experience and learned what it takes to play at the collegiate level. We keep working on getting more experience and getting better."
The Huskies rank third in the MAC in shots with 103 in seven games and are tied for third in goals and goals per game this season. Individually, Karen Enockson leads the conference in points (11) and goals (5) while ranking second in shots.
Weekend one of conference action will give NIU a gauge of where they stand in what appears to be a wide-open league race.
"There is a lot of parity in the MAC," Miller said. "All the teams compete well with each other and anyone can win at any time."
Bowling Green enters the weekend with a 3-5 record. Toledo, who hosts Western Michigan on Friday, is 1-5-2 on the year.
"Both teams we play this weekend are well coached and very solid," Miller said. "They are tough physical teams and each match will be a battle."