Weather stops game; squad ponders future

By Hyun Moon

For the third consecutive year, the NIU soccer team is riding the bubble.

But it was an ice patch that caused the cancellation of the DePaul match yesterday at Huskie Soccer Field, and the match probably will not be made up.

“It was smart not to play,” defender Frank Sparacino said, “the field didn’t look too good.”

In all probability, the 10-4-3 Huskies will not get a chance to formally say good-bye to the seven seniors on the team at Huskie Soccer Field.

But the seniors are hoping their season is not over after tomorrow’s match against Mid-Continent rival Wright State at Dayton, Ohio.

Will 11-4-3 be good enough for an NCAA Tournament berth? Coach Willy Roy certainly thinks so, especially after seeing how well his team is capable of playing. Last Saturday the Huskies whipped Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which received votes for the Top-25. The Huskies are playing their best soccer right now, and they would like to get a shot at the big time.

“We played really good against Milwaukee,” Sparacino said, “but that was only one match, if we don’t beat Wright State it doesn’t mean anything.”

“We’re hoping for a bid, but we have to beat Wright State first,” Markus Roy added. “We’ll pray from there, and if that doent work—life goes on.”

Since Seton Hall (11-7-2), Vermont (12-6-2), Wake Forest (10-6-4), and Virginia (10-5-6) received bids last year, some observers feel that the Huskies should get a shot based on their two previous years on the bubble.

But NIU’s past success will not have any bearing when the selection committee meets on Sunday, committee member Richard Lowe said.

“We look at who had the best season and best team,” Lowe said.

Lowe said the committee has about five pages of numbers on each team under consideration.

“There are many, many ways to measure a team’s season,” Lowe said. “But every Midwest team will be considered.”

NIU has a reputation for having a successful soccer program, but reputation alone will not earn the Huskies a bid.

“Northern certainly has a good program,” Lowe said. “They’ve done well the last three years, and Willy Roy has an international reputation. But even the best coaches don’t always get a bid.”