Shutout leads to third Huskie victory

By Carl Ackerman

NIU’s soccer team displayed almost constant domination in Wednesday evening’s 3-0 home opener over DePaul University, which boosted the Huskie’s record to 3-0.

This is the first time NIU has charged off to such a fast start since the 1984 season when the Huskies finished 13-5-1.

Willy Roy Jr. slammed in NIU’s first goal on a penalty kick to the right side with 40:32 gone.

“We were fortunate that the referee called (the penalty), because usually they won’t give you a call like that,” said Roy Jr.

Per Ekholdt knocked in a six-yarder off of a rebound from the middle with 64 minutes gone to put NIU up 2-0. Frank Sparacino then banged in an unassisted goal from nine yards out after Mark Siegwald smacked one off the DePaul goalie. At this point in the game, NIU displayed its greatest offensive pressure with numerous shots on goal.

The Huskies finished with 14 shots on goal and 17 fouls compared to DePaul’s one shot on goal and 22 fouls.

Although the Huskies were rarely threatened, coach Willy Roy feels his team could have scored better with all its opportunies.

“We made it more difficult for ourselves,” Roy said. “If we want to belong in the elite group with some of the better teams, we have to start scoring those goals.

“We pretty much had the whole game under control, but we have to score goals to make it easier for ourselves, and we have a tendency where we are not quite sharp enough to take advantage of this.”

DePaul Coach Dan Coughlin stated, “NIU has some great attacking players. They have three guys on top that are really dangerous. I think NIU has the kind of team that could have 12 or 13 wins this season. After they scored that penalty kick, it kind of swayed us, plus we did a couple of things that really hurt ourselves.”

Roy chimed in to praise his own players.

“Karsten (Roy) made some super passes and Frankie (Sparacino) did a good job,” Roy said. “Dusty (Showers) did a great job defensively. I was happy for Markus (Roy) to get another shutout even though he wasn’t really tested. I’m very grateful we won, and I’m happy for the team and the NIU students, but we have a long way to go.”