Huskies Head East for MAC Season Opener



Sept. 23, 2010

DEKALB, Ill.- The Huskies will look to keep their winning momentum going as the Northern Illinois women's soccer team opens its 2010 Mid-American Conference season this weekend. The Huskies travel to Toledo, Ohio on Friday to take on the Rockets at 3 p.m. at the Scott Park Stadium. NIU will then return home on Sunday, Sept.26, to host Ball State in a 1 p.m. contest at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.

Northern Illinois (4-3-0) enters the weekend after posting a pair of shutout wins last weekend. The Huskies recorded a 1-0 win over Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Sept. 17, before earning a 1-0 victory against Green Bay on Sept. 19.

As one of the strongest defenses in the conference this season, the Huskie backline is second in the league in goals allowed (6) and goals against average (0.86). With 22 saves, three shutouts and a 0.86 GAA this season, NIU goalkeeper Amy Carr ranks among the best in the MAC. The freshman currently ranks first in shutouts (3) and shutouts per game (0.43), and sits in fourth with a GAA of 0.86.

Offensively, the Huskies can attribute their success to a team effort as five Huskies have found the back of net and nine have earned points for NIU this season. Junior Kelsey Passaglia leads the Huskie charge with two goals, five points and 18 shot attempts. Junior Megan Harry and freshman Devin Bond lead NIU in assists with two marks each.

The Huskies will look to build on this offensive effort as they take on Toledo (4-2-2). The Rockets are coming off a 2-1 overtime victory against Wright State on Sept. 17. Averaging 2.12 goals a game, Toledo is led by junior Kristin Lynn who ranks third in the conference in goals (4) and fourth in points (10). The Huskies enter the match with a 4-9-2 all-time record against Toledo after battling to a 0-0 draw last season in DeKalb.

Following Friday's contest the Huskies will kick-off a three-game homestand by hosting Ball State (6-2-0). The Cardinals have won three-straight games heading into the weekend. With three shutouts this season Ball State is tied with NIU for second in the league in shutouts and BSU goalie Aubrey Buehler holds a 0.81 GAA to rank second in the league. NIU and Ball State have split the all-time series, 4-4-3, after the Huskies posted a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in 2009.

Following the Huskies' intense training and successful non-conference season, Northern Illinois head women's soccer coach Carrie Barker feels the Huskies are prepared to open MAC competition.

"We've trained hard this week and our focus has been very good," said Barker. "We're excited to start conference play."

NIU will continue MAC play next weekend, when the Huskies host Buffalo on Friday before facing Kent State on Sunday at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex.