Huskies goalie scores in win

By Carl Ackerman

A soccer goalie’s major contribution to his team is preventing the opposition from scoring, usually.

NIU goalie Markus Roy was perfect as he recorded a 2-0 shutout against Bradley (1-2) in Sunday afternoon’s season opener at NIU. But unlike any previous match, Roy contributed in a very unique way.

With just over five minutes gone in the second half and both teams locked in a scoreless tie, the 469 fans watched Roy drive a towering kick downfield. The ball was headed by a BU player but continued towards the BU net.

While Willy Roy Jr. chased the high-bouncing ball, BU goalie Scott Fusko charged in, misplayed it and allowed the ball to go over his head for an NIU goal.

Markus Roy was credited with the 110-yard goal 5:25 into the second half. It was the first-ever goal scored by a Huskie netminder.

“I was just trying to get it downfield. Hopefully, someone would head it in. It’s probably the first and last time that will ever happen,” Roy said.

owever, first-year BU coach Jerry Crabtree argued that Roy should not be credited with the goal since his player was the last to touch it.

“If they give that goal to Markus Roy, that’s ridiculous. Our guy headed the ball. I’ll swear to that on a stack of 10 bibles,” Crabtree said.

Either way, it’s still an NIU goal, and Roy seemed less than concerned that he was given credit.

“I don’t care if I score. Getting a shutout is all I’m worried about,” Roy said.

Following the goal, NIU started to take control of the game, and with 12:01 left Willy Roy Jr. accepted a perfect feed from freshman Chris Schneider to boot in an 18-yarder from the left side for a 2-0 lead.

The Huskies never looked back as they raised their overall record against BU to 6-0.

Although NIU won, Coach Willy Roy was not completely satisfied, especially in the first half.

“The kids were a little nervous, we had a two-week preseason and we weren’t concentrating enough,” Roy said. “Against a team like (BU), we have to score early, then they have to open up a little bit, then we can outplay them.

“It’s still a 2-0 victory, so I can’t complain too much. It’s better to win playing bad than to lose playing good,” Roy said.

Offensively, the Huskies were somewhat flat in the first half, but once the first goal was scored, NIU unloaded 20 shots and 14 were on-goal. Overall, the Huskies outshot BU 33-6 and 16-3 in on-goal attempts.

BU was coming off of a 2-1 victory over Illinois-Chicago Saturday. Its only loss prior to Sunday was a 2-0 shutout by Southwest Missouri State.

“We’re a little bit hurt, but that’s no excuse,” said Crabtree. “It’s hard to play two high-pressured games in a row, but we’re going to be a strong team. We just got to hang together and build our attack.”

The Huskies remain undefeated at Huskie Soccer Field with a 10-0-2 record that includes two exhibitions and 10 regular matches. The victory boosted NIU’s mark in home-openers to 17-10-2 and season-openers to 18-12-1.

NIU’s next game will be on the road against Wisconsin-Madison Sept. 7 at 7:30 P.M. The two teams did not face each other last year. UW-M holds an 11-2-1 edge over NIU.

NIU will stay on the road and travel to its arch-rival, Eastern Illinois, Sept. 9 at 2 P.M. for its Mid-Continent Conference debut. The Huskies are 4-10-1 against EIU.