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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Men’s soccer to face Broncos in MVC Tournament semifinals

Courtesy of NIU Athletics
Senior goalkeeper Jakub Rojek kicks a ball in an NIU men’s soccer home game. The Huskies will face Western Michigan University in the MVC Tournament semifinals on Wednesday. (Courtesy NIU Athletics)

Following a 2-1 victory in the quarterfinals against Bowling Green State University, the No. 5 seed NIU men’s soccer team is set to take on the Western Michigan University Broncos on Wednesday in the semifinals of the MVC Tournament. 

The Broncos are the No. 1 seed in the conference and had a bye for the quarterfinals. They are undefeated in conference play (7-0-1) and have a 13-1-3 record on the season. 

While the Broncos coasted through the regular season and into the postseason, the Huskies didn’t earn their berth to the postseason until their last game of the regular season. 


The offense for the Huskies has been limited, and the team has been shut out four times throughout the season. The Huskies have scored 21 goals with an average of 1.31 goals per game. The Broncos have 41 goals on the season, with a 2.41 goals per game average. 

The Huskies have a shots on goal percentage of .442, similar to the Broncos’ .446 shots on goal percentage. NIU averages less shots per game than the Broncos, with 10.3 per game compared to 14.6 per game for Western Michigan. 

Huskie sophomore midfielder Angel Rodriguez, senior midfielder Camilo Estrada, and junior forward Taisei Arima lead the Huskies in scoring with 4 goals each. Senior midfielder Eddie Knight is close behind with 3 goals. 

Despite the offensive struggles for the Huskies, senior goalkeeper Jakub Rojek has been the backbone of the defensive efforts.  

Rojek led the team to the tournament with 9 saves against Bowling Green in the Huskies’ last game of the regular season. He recorded another 11 saves in the quarterfinals, a career high, to secure a second straight victory against Bowling Green to advance to the semifinals. 

In NIU’s last match against the Broncos on Oct. 18, Rojek made 6 saves despite allowing 3 goals. Rojek has notched 75 saves in 13 games for the Huskies and has allowed 1.62 goals per game on average. 


Western Michigan’s leading goal scorer has 14 goals, coming from graduate student forward Dylan Sing. Senior forward Charlie Sharp has 11 goals and sophomore forward Carson Hodgson has 6 goals. In the last match between the Huskies and the Broncos, Sing scored 2 goals to lead the Broncos to the win. 

The Huskies were outshot 20-12, and the Broncos held a 9-6 advantage for shots on goal in the two teams’ previous matchup. A goal from Arima prevented the shutout.

Graduate student goalkeeper Ethan Brandt has started 17 games for Western Michigan and has 52 saves on the season. He averaged less than a goal allowed per game, with a 0.78 percent average. 

NIU will face off against the Broncos at 1 p.m. on Wednesday in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The game will be available on ESPN+, and StatBroadcast will be providing live stats.

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