Wright State packs 4-0 punch over NIU

By Hyun Moon

The NIU soccer team starred as “Accidental Tourists” in a nightmarish trip to Dayton, Ohio.

On Wednesday, the Huskies’ United flight to Dayton was delayed due to engine problems, and the team had to change flights to American Airlines.

“It must have been a bad omen,” NIU coach Willy Roy said.

The next day, NIU suffered its fifth shutout of the year, 4-0 to Wright State in snowy Dayton.

NIU managed to overcome the frigid cold of Milwaukee last week, but the snow buried the Huskies. “The field was very slippery,” Roy said. “It was like we were skating.”

The Huskies (10-5-3) had opportunities to score—just like all the other matches they’ve lost. “We had a break-away within the first 45 seconds,” Roy said, “but we hit the post. John Kelly also had a pointblank shot in the first half, and he missed. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

The Raiders (9-8-1) outshot the Huskies by a narrow 12-8 margin.

The Raiders took advantage of their opportunities and led 2-0 at the half with Erron Douglas scoring on a header and Jim Thompson converting on a seven-yarder from the left side.

The Huskies had the wind advantage in the second half, but it was the Raiders who took advantage of the NIU defense, which was without starter Dave Weichman, who stayed in DeKalb after collecting his fifth yellow card against Milwaukee. The Raiders scored twice in the last seven minutes of the match on back-up goalie Dan Green.

“I can’t fault our team,” Roy said. “The field conditions were wet and sloppy, so it was a kick-and-run type of game.”

Roy said even his most steady players had problems playing in the snow. “The guys I could count on the whole year—guys like Frank Sparacino and Jay Konrad—didn’t have very good matches either.”

The Huskies will probably not be announced as a NCAA Tournament participant next Monday, but the postponed DePaul match has been rescheduled at Huskie Soccer Field for next Tuesday at 2 p.m.

“We would like to try to end our season on a positive note,”

Roy said.