NIU soccer team ends season with split

By Bob Regan

The NIU soccer team wrapped up the 1988 season over the weekend at the Big Central Soccer Conference Championship held at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville with a split.

On Friday, the Huskies squared off against Cincinnati and got revenge from a 2-0 NIU loss earlier in the season by beating Cincinnati 3-1. But on Saturday the Huskies lost 3-0 to Quincy.

The weekend games brought the NIU overall record to 7-9-1 and left coach Roy looking to next year for a winning season.

“I think we improved a little this year, and I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction,” Roy said.

Cincinnati jumped on the board first in Friday’s game on a throw-in which was knocked into the goal from eight yards by Michael Pugh. However, the Bearcat celebration did not last long.

Senior co-captain Jim Pisani tied up the score with 17:01 off the clock on a five-yard tap-in from the middle. The assist for Pisani’s goal was credited to freshman John Lechner.

With only 30 seconds left in the first half, Pisani took it to the net again. This time the goal came on a four-yard tap-in with Walid Fikri on the assist.

The second half consisted of only one goal which was scored by Lechner with four seconds left in the game. Lechner worked his way around Bearcat goalkeeper Jay Schneider for the two-yard conversion.

NIU’s loss to Quincy came on Saturday and ended the Huskies’ hopes of capturing the title. Quincy went on to win the conference title by defeating SIU-Edwardsville 3-1 on Sunday.

Coach Roy said the games were played well, and the tournament was a success despite NIU’s finish. Roy said he was satisfied because the team did not finish in last place, despite some unfortunate injuries which could have done harm.

“It was a really good team effort. We had some injuries and had to count on a lot of young players. We don’t have the deepest bench, but we showed a lot of character. Guys like Jerry Pruszynski, Mike Skvarla, Mark Siegwald, Walid Fikri and David Pacwa did the job,” Roy said.