Nov. 2, 2013
MIAMI (OHIO) REDHAWKS
Location: Soccer Field, Oxford, Ohio
Date: Sunday, November 3
Live Stats: MURedhawks.com
MAC TOURNAMENT OPENING DAY
The MAC Championship Tournament will begin on Sunday as the top eight teams in the conference are aiming to be champions. The Huskies enter the tournament as the seventh seed. They'll face the 2012 Champion Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (10-6-3, 7-1-3 MAC) in the first round on the road.
ROAD TO THE POSTSEASON
At the start of October, the Huskies stood at 2-7-1 on the season with a 0-2-0 record in the MAC. From that point on, the team went 4-3-2 to earn the seventh seed in the tournament. Overall, the NIU finished the regular season at 6-10-3 with a 4-5-2 conference record. At home, the Huskies were tough to beat, going 6-1-1 in front of the DeKalb crowd.
Nicole Gobbo came out firing to start MAC play. The sophomore forward scored four times during the first three MAC games, including both goals in a 2-0 winning effort against Akron. (Oct. 4)
Coutney Ksiazek scored two goals this season, and both were part of a crucial 2-1 win for NIU over Buffalo (Oct. 6) at home.
Ksiazek scored the game-tying goal late in regulation and the game-winning goal during the second overtime period.
The Huskies headed into their last three games with just a one-point lead for eighth place in the conference. The team controlled its own destiny however, as a successful home stand would clinch a postseason berth. Much like previous games this season, NIU defended the home turf well, picking up wins against Kent State (Oct. 25) and Ohio (Oct. 27) to not only secure a postseason spot, but to also move up to seventh in the conference.
NIU is 8-5-1 all-time in MAC Tournament play. The Huskies' most recent match in the tournament was a 2-0 loss at the hands of the Central Michigan Chippewas in 2012. NIU hasn't won a game in the MAC Championship Tournament since a first round victory against Ohio on November 4, 2007. The Huskies do, however, have two MAC Championships to their credit, winning in 1997 and 1998.
ABOUT MIAMI (OHIO)
The Miami Redhawks struggled in non-conference play this season, going 3-5-0 outside of the MAC. When conference play began in late September, the team went all out in an effort to secure home field for some tournament matches. The Redhawks finished 7-1-3 in the MAC. Over eight games from September 29 to October 25, Miami allowed just one goal. Only six goals were scored against the Redhawks in 11 conference games overall.
BALANCED FLOCK OF REDHAWKS
Five different Redhawks finished with four or more goals scored this season. The team had 28 assists overall, and five different players contributed three or more. Four different players produced more than 10 points for the team. The Redhawks can hurt opposing teams in a lot of different ways, making them a dangerous team.
REGULAR SEASON MATCH
When these two teams faced of in the regular season, the Huskies fell in a 2-0 affair. In that game, the Redhawks applied constant offensive pressure, giving NIU little opportunity to mount a comeback. Had it not been for the brilliant play of Amy Carr in net, the Huskies may have found themselves in an even tougher spot later in the game. With one game to see what Miami has to offer, the Huskies will look to counter the Redhawk attack in the postseason match.
FRANKENBERG'S SCORING LIFTS THE HUSKIES
Dating back to last season, the Huskies are 6-0-1 when Cori Frankenberg scores. In those games, the senior forward from Appleton, Wis. has claimed two equalizers and five game-winners. Frankenberg is second on the Huskies in points this season with eight, coming from three goals and two assists.
A PACK OF HUSKIES
The Redhawks aren't the only ones that balance out an offense. This year, 11 different Huskies recorded a score. NIU has threats both in the starting lineup and in the second unit. The leader of the pack is Nicole Gobbo, who led Huskies in scoring this year with six goals.
CARR KEEPS MOVING
In what is her last season playing for the Huskies, Amy Carr has been a workhorse in net. She led all MAC goaltenders this season in minutes played with 1740:32 game minutes. Carr recorded three shutouts on the year, giving her 18 career shutouts. That figure is good for second all-time among NIU goaltenders, coming only behind for MAC record holder Lindset Curnock (29).
NEXT FOR NIU
Should the Huskies come away from Oxford victorious, they'll advance to the second round of the MAC Championship Tournament, which will be played on Friday, November 8. Start time for that game is currently to be determined.