Sept. 28, 2011
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DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team (1-7-2, 0-2 MAC) will host a pair of Buckeye State school's this weekend, facing Akron and Ohio Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, respectively, at NIU Soccer Complex. The Huskies will look to find even ground in Mid-American Conference play and progress in securing a bid for the MAC Championship.
LAST TIME OUT
Northern Illinois opened the conference portion of their schedule Friday when it hosted Toledo, the conference's preseason favorite. The Huskies held the Rockets scoreless in regulation, tied 0-0. NIU surrendered the lone goal in the contest seven minutes into the first overtime period when Rachael MacLeod fired a shot that was parried by sophomore goalkeeper Amy Carr and recovered by Nicole Gyurgyik, who fired home the winning goal.
Two days later, the Huskies traveled to Muncie, Ind. to take on Ball State in a rainy and windy Sunday matinee. Despite being down 1-0 at the half from a Sarah Orisich goal, NIU outshot BSU 6-5 in the opening stanza. Pavla Benyrova and Becca Sutton added goals in the 58th and 69th minute to give the Cardinals a 3-0 win over the Huskies and end a three-year losing skid to Northern Illinois.
FOLLOW FROM HOME
Both of the Huskies matches can be followed on GameTracker and Live Video on Huskies All-Access. Subscription required to watch video. The match can also be followed on Twitter @NIUHuskies.
The Zips currently own a 4-3-1 overall record and are currently the top team in the Mid-American Conference East at 1-0-1. Akron opened its conference season with a strong 0-0 tie with 2010 NCAA Tournament Qualifier Central Michigan as both teams put three shots on frame in the contest. The following contest, the Zips demolished Eastern Michigan with three-second half goals to drop the Eagles 3-0.
The team is currently on a four-match unbeaten streak and has outscored its opponents, 9-0. Scoring for the Zips has come from a variety of angles as six-different players have registered goals in 2011 and Ashley Hughes leads the way with three, including one on a penalty kick. Jeny Wolbert has been stalwart in net, sporting a goals against average of 0.80 and a save percentage of .867, ranking her 55th and 28th in country, respectively, in those statistical categories.
The Bobcats are 4-6-0 this season and are 1-1-0 in Mid-American Conference play. Ohio opened last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Eastern Michigan, when Cat Rogers scored the late game-winner in the 83rd minute of play. Two days later, the Bobcats fell victim to the Chippewas, 3-0, and surrendered two second period goals. Ohio is 1-3 on the road this year, with its only win at Marshall.
Kelsey Pichel is the top scorer for the Bobats through 10 matches, tallying two goals and an assist, including one game-winning goal. Toye Famodu and Rachael Philpot are tied for second in scoring with a goal and an assist each. In net Mattie Liston has accumulated a goals against average of 1.10 and a save percentage of .800.
HUSKIES AND THE ZIPS
NIU owns a 6-3-1 mark lifetime against Akron and has taken two of the last three from the Zips. Dating back to 2005, each contest has featured no more than one goal per match with NIU leading the series in that span, 3-2-1. The series' only draw, 0-0, came back in 2007. At home against Akron, the Huskies are 4-1-0, with the only blemish occurring in 2009.
HUSKIES AND THE BOBCATS
The Huskies and the Bobcats share an extensive history with each other, meeting 18 times since the two teams squared off for the first time Oct. 5, 1997. Northern Illinois has played Ohio more than any other opponent (18 matches) in its 19-year history and leads the all-time series, 9-7-2, including a 4-0 postseason record. NIU has won six of the last eight meetings against Ohio but has dropped the last two matches and has gone 4-3-1 all-time in DeKalb versus the Bobcats.
THEY'RE A RARE HAPPENING
Northern Illinois' 1-0 overtime loss to Toledo last Friday was the Huskies first overtime loss since Central Michigan topped NIU Oct. 16, 2009, 1-0. CMU scored the golden goal in the 96th minute to nab the win in DeKalb, en route to the NCAA Tournament.
SOCCER TO HOST BREAST CANCER AWARENESS EVENT OCT. 14 AND 16
The Northern Illinois women's soccer team will host Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend Oct. 14 and 16 when Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan come to town. The team will wear pink T-shirts during its pre game warm-up, with shirts available for sale during the contests. More information coming soon.
Northern Illinois will have a pair of matches on the road, traveling East to take on Buffalo and Kent State Oct. 7 and Oct. 9, respectively.