NCAA committee passes NIU again; DePaul up last

By Hyun Moon

“Maybe next year” is becoming an annual catch-phrase for the NIU soccer team.

Once again, the Huskies (10-5-3) could not win over the NCAA selection committee for an invitation to the 28-team post-season tournament.

“I’m not dissappointed,” NIU coach Willy Roy said. “All the teams that made it deserve it.”

This year, the only team in the playoffs with more losses than the Huskies is Portland University, which received an at-large bid at 12-6. According to Soccer America, Portland had the second toughest schedule in the nation, behind Duke, who did not get a bid.

There’s no question NIU had its opportunities to ensure a bid for this season, but the Huskies could not win the big matches against Southern Methodist and Saint Louis, who both got bids.

“We were missing a goal scorer,” Roy said. “We had Karsten (Roy), Frank (Sparacino) and Jay Konrad, who are playing defensive positions lead our team in scoring. Overall, knowing what we had to overcome, I’m very proud of our team.”

The fatal blow for the Huskies came later in the year, when the Huskies tied Eastern Illinois and Quincy College and lost 4-0 to Wright State last Thursday.

The good news for the Huskies is their season is not quite over. DePaul will head into town today for a 2 p.m. match at Huskie Soccer Field—the final match for seniors Markus Roy, Karsten Roy, Sparacino, Per Ekholdt, Mark Siegwald, John Lechner and John Kelly.

“All these guys have great work ethics,” Roy said. “I’m sure they’ll be successful in whatever they do. They laid down a great foundation for the freshmen—the Jay Konrads and the Andy Lanes.”