Huskies stomp Crusaders, 5-0

By Hyun Moon

Everyone got into the act yesterday as the NIU soccer team thumped Valparaiso 5-0 at Huskie Soccer Field.

But NIU goalie Markus Roy scoring the final goal of the match as a center-foward was the highlight of the show.

Markus, who combined with Dan Green for his fourth shutout of the year, came into the match as a forward for the final 25 minutes.

The star goalie gave the fans a thrill as he created many scoring opportunities for the Huskies—including an assist to freshman Derek Niepomnik for the fourth goal of the match with 16:38 left in regulation.

Markus struck again with 3:10 remaining when Ian Osharow found him wide open in front of the goal. Markus had time to fake right and put the ball behind Valpo goalie Eric Jensen.

“Markus played the position the way it was supposed to be played,” NIU coach Willy Roy said. “He made runs effectively without the ball.”

Frank Sparacino, who scored two goals in the match, started the rout with 15:15 remaining in the first half. Karsten Roy flicked a free kick to Sparacino from the right side, which Sparacino blasted from 15 yards out.

The Karsten-Sparacino combination struck again 10 minutes later when Karsten found Sparacino streaking down the middle. Karsten made a perfect lead pass, and Sparacino back-footed Jensen from three yards out.

“That goal was first rate soccer,” Willy Roy said. “Franky made a great run, and Karsten made a perfect feed.”

Karsten scored a second half goal off a penalty kick, after Sam Cece did the dirty work of getting pounded inside the box.

Niepomnik, who has been in Roy’s doghouse for defensive lapses, responded with a driving goal from the left side of the field as a midfielder. Niepomnik’s aim towards the near post was perfect.

“I saw that’s where the opening was,” he said. “At midfield, I had some defensive responsibilities, but I was more involved with the offense.”

The entire match was played on the Crusader’s side of the field as NIU (9-3-2) kept constant pressure on the Valparaiso goal. The Huskies pounded 11 shots on goal while Valpo (4-9-1) only managed two.

“I saw a much more motivated Huskie team on the field today,” Roy said. “It certainly came at the right time since we have our match of the year this Saturday.”

The match of the year will start 2 p.m. Saturday at Huskie Soccer Field against No. 5-ranked Saint Louis University.