Roy’s, Sparacino named All-Conference

By Hyun Moon

The honors keep piling up for the most successful senior class in NIU soccer history.

Goalie Markus Roy, sweeper Karsten Roy and forward/midfielder/defender Frank Sparacino were named to the All-Mid Continent team yesterday.

After completing an 11-5-3 season, these seniors compiled a career 45-24-8 record, including two conference titles and Top-Four Regional ranking for three straight years.

For Markus, this is his fourth all-conference honor. He was picked twice in the Big Central Conference, before NIU defected to the Mid-Continent Conference. Karsten was honored for the third time, once in the Big Central and twice in the Mid-Con. Sparacino has now been picked once by each conference.

For the Roy twins—co-team MVP’s this year—the honors were almost expected, so NIU coach Willy Roy was tickled by Sparacino’s entry with the Mid-Con elite.

Sparacino, who scored five goals and one assist, answered every call this season. If Willy Roy needed offense, Sparacino became a forward. If Roy needed someone to hold and control the ball, Sparacino played midfielder. If Roy needed a shutout, Sparacino was a defender.

“It wasn’t tough,” Sparacino said about his constant role changes. “I’m a senior, I knew what coach expected out of me.”

Unfortunately, Sparacino was not the true goal-scorer Roy searched for the entire season. Roy experimented with Karsten at midfield and shuffled his lineup throughout the year. Karsten, from his sweeper position, led the Huskies in scoring with six goals and seven assists.

“Moving Franky and Karsten up to midfield weakened our defense,” Willy Roy said. “It probably hurt Markus’ stats, but I give the other coaches credit for seeing through the stats.”

Markus had a 1.11 goals allowed average, but he also scored a goal and an assist in a match against Valparaiso when the coach pulled him out of the goal.

“I’d trade in any individual honor to have gotten into the playoffs,” Markus said.

Afterall, individual honors are flattering, team success is everlasting.

In this year’s playoffs, Saint Louis, Virginia, Santa Clara and Indiana are in the Final Four at Tampa Bay, Fla.

“We felt we could have competed with anybody in the tournament,” said Karsten.