Oct. 14, 2010
DEKALB, Ill.- The Northern Illinois women's soccer team will be put to the ultimate road test, when the Huskies travel to Eastern Michigan for a 2 p.m. match up on Friday in Ypsilanti, Mich., before heading to defending Mid-American Conference Champions Central Michigan for a noon contest on Sunday in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
NIU (7-5-1, 3-2-1 MAC) will have a challenging schedule this weekend as they take on the Eagles (7-5-3, 4-0-2 MAC) and Chippewas (9-3-1, 6-0-0 MAC), who are both undefeated in conference play. The Huskies enter this weekend's contest after splitting a pair of road games last weekend, including a 1-0 win at Akron.
The Huskies enter play Friday third in goals allowed with four, second in shutouts at six, and own a fourth-place goals against average (GAA) of 1.06. Freshman goalkeeper Amy Carr (Hemel Hempstead, England/Townsend) sits atop the MAC in shutouts per game (0.46) and is tied for first in shutouts with six. Carr ranks sixth in the league with a 0.99 GAA, allowing 13 goals after 1176 minutes of play.
On offense, NIU has had a well-balanced attack. Ten Huskies have fired goals and 12 registered points for Northern Illinois this season. Leading the Huskie attack is junior Kelsey Passaglia (Cary, IL/Cary-Grove) and Shelbi Johnson (Bolingbrook, Ill./Neuqua Valley) who have each found the back of the net twice.
Passaglia leads NIU with six points off two goals and two assists, while Johnson has recorded four points on her two goals. Junior Megan Harry (Alpharetta, GA/Milton) has also been a fundamental part of the Huskie offense, registering five points on one goal and three assists, to rank second in points among NIU players.
"We have two tough opponents on the road," said Northern Illinois head women's soccer coach Carrie Barker. "Our focus in training was very good this week and we will be ready to compete."
NIU's game with the Eagles is the third of a four-game road swing. EMU is powered by a strong offense that has totaled 42 points in MAC play to rank first in the league. The Eagles rank second in conference play with 14 goals and are led by Page Sheridan and Stephanie Clarke. Sheridan leads the Eagles with 14 points, six goals and two assists, while Clarke has registered 11 points on three goals and five assists for EMU.
Following Friday's contest, the Huskies will be tested for a second time when they face MAC favorite Central Michigan on Sunday. The Chippewas are 6-0-0 in conference play and sit in a tie for first in the MAC West. The Huskies will face a stingy defense from the Chippewas, who have allowed just three goals since the start of MAC play. Central Michigan is led by goalkeeper Shay Mannino, who leads the MAC in goals allowed (four) and ranks first in the MAC and 14th in the nation, with a 0.52 GAA.
This weekend will conclude a four-game road swing for the Huskies, who will return home on Friday, Oct. 22 to host Miami (Ohio) before closing out their home schedule on Sunday, Oct. 24, against Bowling Green.