Oct. 25, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois women's soccer team hosts its final regular season games this weekend, facing Central Michigan on Friday and Eastern Michigan on Sunday. The Huskies enter the weekend at 6-5-4 overall and 3-3-2 in MAC and are looking to enhance their position for a conference playoff berth.
"This will be a big weekend for everyone in the MAC," head coach Marci Miller Jobson said. "Everyone is close to each other in the standings and points are tight, so these games are huge, especially for teams trying to qualify for the tournament."
Friday's match against the Chippewas is set for 3 p.m. and can be heard locally on WLBK (1360-AM) and on niuhuskies.com. Featuring the league's second-highest goal total, CMU brings a 7-8-0 record and a 3-5-0 league mark as is fighting for a spot in the MAC Tournament. Stephanie Martin is the MAC's second-leading scorer and is tied with teammate Amanda Waugh for second in the league in goals.
Sunday's game against Eastern Michigan is set for 11 a.m. Prior to the match, five Huskies seniors, Michelle Christian (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley), Elaine Eliadis (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg), Karen Enockson (St. Charles, Ill./East), Marisa Oriente (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport), and Katie Sturges (Downers Grove, Ill./South), will be honored as part of Senior Day recognition. The third-place Eagles enter the weekend riding a five-game unbeaten streak and own a 6-5-4 overall record and are 4-2-2 in conference play.
"Sunday will be a great day to honor our seniors, including our two captains Katie [Sturges] and Karen [Enockson]," Jobson said. "This group has given a great deal to our program and done a lot for NIU soccer during their careers."
NIU has won each of the past two meetings against CMU and the all-time series is even at 5-5. The Huskies are 2-8-1 against EMU with their last win against the Eagles coming in 1998.
"Central Michigan is very well coached team and organized and I expect them to come out and play with a never-say-die attitude," Jobson said. "Eastern Michigan has been scoring a lot of goals and we will have play well defensively to contain their attack."
Last weekend the Huskies went 1-0-1, defeating Ohio and tying Akron. Huskie goalkeeper Lindsey Curnock is the reigning MAC Player of the Week and owns a 200-minute scoreless streak after posting consecutive shutouts last weekend. Curnock is NIU's all-time leader with 12 career shutouts and currently ranks third in the MAC with a 0.59 goals against average.
Offensively, the Huskies are paced by Enockson, who has five goals and 10 points on the year. Her goal total ranks in a seventh-place tie in the MAC while her 18 career goals rank seventh all-time at NIU.
"We would like to keep our momentum from a good weekend on the road and carry that on at home in front of our fans," Jobson said. "There is a lot on the line and each game will be a battle just like every other game in the MAC."
After this weekend's home games, NIU will have just one regular season match remaining, Nov. 1 at Western Michigan.