Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend Highlights Huskies Home Matches Against EMU and CMU



Oct. 13, 2011

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DEKALB, Ill. - The poised Northern Illinois women's soccer team, coming off a weekend split with Buffalo and Kent State, will host Eastern Michigan Oct. 14 and Central Michigan Oct. 16 at NIU Soccer Complex, with matches starting at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. This weekend will mark the Huskies Breast Cancer Awareness Celebration, wearing pink shirts during warmups and handing out pink buffs before the match Friday and Sunday.

The Huskies split the weekend, defeating Buffalo, 1-0, and narrowly dropping a contest at Kent State, 3-2. Against the Bulls, NIU "played its most physical contest of the year" according to Head Coach Carrie Barker. With the match tied 0-0 after halftime, both teams continued to strike at goal, but Huskie defender Lauren Eberts scored the matches only goal off a corner kick from Shelbi Johnson to net the matches only goal and lead Northern Illinois over UB, 1-0.

Two days later, the Huskies were in Ohio to take on Kent State and quickly found themselves down 1-0 before the half. However, NIU turned the tables quickly in the second half - 40 seconds into it in fact - as Kayra Thompson tied the match, 1-1. In the 49th minute, Northern Illinois took the lead in the match on a Samantha Hill goal to build a 2-1 lead. However, KSU scored two goals in the a span of 42 seconds in the final minutes of the match to claim victory, 3-2.

The Northern Illinois women's soccer team is holding its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Weekend for its home matches this weekend against Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan Friday and Sunday. The Huskies will be wearing pink shirts during the pre game warmups, that will also be available for sale. The team will also be handing out pink buffs, made popular by the hit CBS reality show "Survivor," before each match.

For the second-consecutive weekend, Northern Illinois has scored a goal off of a corner kick. Samantha Hill scored NIU's match-tying goal against Ohio (Oct. 2) off a corner kick, after receiving a pair of passes from Kayra Thompson and Ashley Neubeck. Versus Buffalo (Oct. 7), Lauren Eberts struck a header for the match-winner.

The common denominator in goals from the corner - junior defender Shelbi Johnson, who has taken 51 of the Huskies 54 corner kicks this season. Senior Megan Harry has taken two this year, while classmate Kelsey Passaglia has taken the other.

After her two assist performance against Kent State last Sunday, the La Crescenta, Calif. native is the Huskies leading-scorer with two goals and three assists this season, for a total of seven points. It was her second of the game of the season, in which she recorded two goals or assists. Boukidis scored two goals against Loyola Sept. 18 to lead NIU over the Ramblers, 2-0.

Eastern Michigan, a typical contender in the MAC, is 1-10-2 this season and 1-4-1 in conference. The Eagles just ended their 12-match winless streak last Sunday by defeating Miami (Ohio) in Ypsilanti, Mich., with a goal nine minutes into overtime to defeat the Redhawks, 2-1. In fact, EMU has played three-straight overtime matches and is 1-1-1 in that stretch, falling to Bowling Green in the first overtime period Oct. 7, 2-1, and tying Buffalo 2-2 at Scicluna Field Oct. 2.

Angela Vultaggio leads the team in scoring this season with nine points on four goals and one assist. Cara Cutaia and Bianca Rossi are tied for second in goals with two each, however, Cutaia is second in the team's scoring act with three assists to boot (seven points).

The defending MAC Tournament Champions seems to be in 2010 form with a 10-1-3 overall record and is undefeated in conference at 4-0-2. The only blemish on the Chippewas record was back on Sept. 2, a 2-1 overtime loss to Kentucky, and is 7-0-3 since then. CMU played Buffalo to 0-0 draw Sept. 30 and also tied Akron 0-0 Sept. 23.

Statistically, Central Michigan has outscored its opponents 22-6 and spreads the wealth offensively. Jennifer Gassman, Laura Goose, Autumn Hawkings and Ashley Mejilla share the team-lead in goals with three a piece. Mejilla has three assists and leads the Chippewas in scoring (nine points). Claire Horton has the most helpers in 2011 for CMU with five. Stefanie Turner has a majority of the wins in net with seven, three by shutout, and has shared four clean sheets with Grace Labrecque.  Both combine for goals against average of 0.41.

Northern Illinois trails Eastern Michigan in the all-time series, 3-11-2. The Huskies last defeated the Eagles in 2007, a 1-0 triumph in DeKalb. All three of the victories by NIU have occurred at home. Only 3-of-the-16 matches in the series have gone to overtime, with Northern Illinois taking the only win, a 3-2 victory in the 1997 MAC Championship. Allison Wade scored the golden goal in the 99th minute to secure NIU's first MAC Championship.

It's a black and white affair between NIU and CMU, with the Huskies trailing the Chippewas in the all-time series, 6-9-0. Northern Illinois also last defeated Central Michigan in 2007, a 3-2 regulation win. Of their six wins against the Chippewas, the Huskies have taken four in DeKalb.7

The Huskies will embark on their final road trip of the regular season, heading to Ohio, Oxford and Bowling Green, for matches against Miami and Bowling Green. The Huskies will meet the Redhawks Friday Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. and take on the Falcons Oct. 23 at noon. Both times are central.



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