Oct. 31, 2007
DeKALB, Ill. - Riding the momentum of a four-game unbeaten streak and coming off of a weekend sweep of Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois (8-5-4, 5-3-2) will be looking to end the regular season on a high note before entering the MAC Tournament.
Sunday's 1-0 victory in the waning minutes over EMU clinched a MAC Tournament berth for the second consecutive season for the Huskies, a feat that has not been achieved since 1998-99. Still, NIU has something to play for Thursday at Kalamazoo.
With a win Thursday (1 p.m. CT) at Western Michigan (4-10-3, 2-6-2), Northern Illinois will host a first-round match Sunday, Nov. 4. The Huskies last hosted a postseason game in 1998. Depending on the other outcomes around the MAC, a tie by NIU could still mean hosting a league tournament game.
"We are going into this game the same way we have approached each game this season and that is taking one game at a time and focusing on our opponent that day," head coach Marci Miller Jobson said. "Our focus will be playing Western Michigan and not looking ahead or behind. We have achieved our goal of getting to the MAC Tournament, but we do not want to stop there. I tell our team that if they focus and do their very best every game, good things will happen for them."
Western Michigan has won two of its last three games and is a team that relies on its defense. The Broncos have scored just 10 goals this season, the lowest total in the MAC.
Last season, NIU clinched a berth in the MAC Tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Broncos in the regular season finale, though WMU still holds a 6-4 edge in the all-time series.
"Western Michigan is a good team and we expect them to come out and play us well," Jobson added. "It will be a tough game at their place. They are coming off a victory over Central Michigan and have taken a number of teams to overtime this season."