Roy to mush Huskies into wintry Wisconsin

By Tom Clegg

Soccer coach Willy Roy might forget the bus and have his Huskies pull him by dogsled to Wisconsin this weekend.

NIU travels to Madison Friday and Green Bay Sunday where several inches of white stuff fell Thursday. But Roy said he would not mind playing in snow.

“In Europe they just press the snow down and paint red lines on the field,” he said. “It should be fun. It brings out the kid in you.”

Friday night NIU battles the Badgers of Wisconsin at Breese Stevens Field. The 7:30 match features All-America candidate Andy Rectenwal, who holds the all-time Badger record for career goals with 45.

Entering the weekend at 11-6-0, the Badgers have been a pleasant surprise to sixth-year coach Jim Laudner.

“We’ve played a little better than expected,” he said.

Laudner said the key to beating NIU would be to shut down Willy Roy Jr., the Huskies’ second-leading scorer. He also cited NIU’s Norwegian duo of Helge Abrahamsen and Preben Halle as players to watch.

Laudner said the Huskies’ many position switches, including Halle’s move from forward to back, will require the Badgers to play a wait-and-see game.

“We’re better off playing the way we play and adjusting to what they do,” the Badger coach said. “We want to play our game to our fullest and make them beat us.”

Another player change Roy might make is at goalkeeper where Jeff Tweedell is questionable for Friday’s match. The sophomore has missed the last three practices with the flu and could be replaced by newly eligible freshman Tim Spiegel.

oy said the freshman goalie has looked good in practice and even if Tweedell starts against the Badgers, Spiegel will get some playing time during the road trip.

The Huskies’ last game outside of DeKalb will be a 2 p.m. match Sunday at Wisconsin-Green Bay. The Phoenix are 12-4-1 and have an 11-game unbeaten streak going.

oy said he is looking forward to meeting a team like Green Bay.

“I like to play hot teams,” he said. “They’re ready to go down.”

NIU is 0-6-1 on the road this year and 4-8-2 overall. With four games remaining, the Huskies will have their work cut out for them to reach the .500 mark.

NIU holds an 0-7-0 career mark vs. Wisconsin and 3-8-5 against Green Bay after losing to the Badgers 3-0 and defeating the Phoenix 3-1 at Huskie Stadium last year.