Three losses set NIU back

By Hyun Moon

Willy Roy is making wholesale changes to find solutions to his offensive problems.

The Huskies, 7-3-1, are looking for more point production after scoring only one goal in all three of their losses against Hartwick, Southern Methodist and Akron.

“We don’t have a single forward with 100 percent goal instincts,” Roy said. “I was hoping three forwards with maybe 75 percent goal instincts could do the job, but it hasn’t worked out.”

So up comes Karsten Roy to midfield in the Cleveland State match on Sunday—a 3-2 Huskie win. Freshman Jay Konrad took over the sweeper position from Karsten.

With freshmen playing, there’s bound to be freshmen mistakes. In the match against Cleveland State, Konrad made an errant backward pass to goalie Markus Roy, which was intercepted by a Viking, and turned into a goal.

“Jay just didn’t put enough on the ball,” Dave Weichman said, defending the freshman. “Everybody makes bad passes. Karsten made bad passes.”

Konrad scored a goal to make up for his mistake in the Cleveland State match.

Another freshman, Andy Lane, leads the Huskies in goals with five. Lane saw little playing time in the beginning of the season, but has made it tough on Roy to keep him out of the lineup.

Lane said he likes having the seniors—Karsten and Frank Sparacino—at midfield. “It helps a lot in transition,” he said. “They’re creating plays, and there’s a lot better ball distribution. Opportunities have been coming from different places for different players, and I’ve been fortunate.”

There’s also no more talk of an NCAA bid for the NIU soccer team.

A bid is in jeopardy after the three losses with eight matches to play. The matches remaining include No. 6 Saint Louis, Quincy and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“I think we overlooked our conference,” Weichman said.

Akron now has a strangle hold on the Mid-Continent Conference unbeaten at 3-0, but the Zips still have road matches at Western Illinois and Eastern Illinois.

“Nobody is guaranteed anything in this conference,” Roy said.