Oct. 11, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team enters the midpoint of Mid-American Conference play this weekend and will face a strong test of four consecutive league road games beginning Friday. This weekend's circuit begins at first-place Ball State and continues Sunday at Miami (Ohio).
"We will be facing two of the better all-around teams in the MAC this weekend," head coach Marci Miller Jobson said. "Each team plays different tactically, but both are well-organized and play good soccer."
NIU is 5-4-2 overall, but more importantly, 2-2 in the league which puts them in a tie for fifth position. The Huskies split a pair of home matches last weekend, dropping a 1-0 decision to Kent State with just 39 seconds left in the game's second overtime, and notching a 2-1 triumph over Buffalo.
Sophomore Lisa Maier scored her first goal of the season and added an assist in Sunday's match to lift NIU to a victory that evened its league mark.
The Huskies defense continues to be the strength of the team with NIU ranking third in the MAC in both goals against average per game (0.94) and goals allowed per game (1.00). Marci Miller Jobson's squad also ranks fourth in the league with fours shutouts.
In Ball State, the Huskies will face a well-balanced team that has raced out to a 4-0-0 league mark and a 7-4-0 overall record. The Cardinals, selected as the MAC's preseason favorite, have not allowed a conference goal in four matches and own the league's stingiest defense with just 0.73 goals allowed per game. BSU has a five-game unbeaten streak against the Huskies dating back to 2001 and leads the all-time series 4-2-2.
"Against Ball State, we'll need to come out, defend well and finish our chances," Jobson said. "They are a well organized attacking team."
Miami enters the weekend 3-5-3 overall and 1-2-1 in the MAC. The RedHawks are led by Sara Lund, one the MAC's top scorers with five goals and 12 points for the season. NIU scored a 2-1 victory over Miami last season, but trails the all-time series 6-3-1 and has not won in Oxford since 1998.
"Facing Miami will be another tough MAC match," Jobson said. "They have some very good forwards and we'll have to try to keep them in check."