Women’s soccer prepping for weekend of MAC play

By Raven Boyd

Women’s soccer (2-9-0, 1-3 MAC) will go toe-to-toe against Akron University on Friday at home and will finish the weekend on Sunday with a game against Buffalo.

The Zips (4-7-1, 1-3 MAC) are looking to recover from their first shutout of the season. Redshirt junior forward Ariadna Gandia tallied a team high six shots as the Zips fell 3-0 to Bowling Green Friday. The team took another loss to Eastern Michigan on Sunday. Junior forward Sarah Sivic scored two goals for the Zips but they were unable to recover from the deficit.

The Huskies will end the weekend facing reigning MAC champion Buffalo (6-5-1, 2-2 MAC). The Bulls are also returning from a weekend loss against Bowling Green. Buffalo averages 14 shots per game and is leading the conference in offside penalties.

Bulls goalkeeper Laura Dougall is leading the MAC as a sophomore with six shut-outs on the season. Dougall averages 5.08 saves a game in comparison to Huskies goalkeeper Amy Annala’s 6.14 saves-per-game. Annala had a career game against Ohio on Friday with 17 saves, the second most in a game in NIU History. She is also leading the MAC in saves-per-game with 43 recorded saves in seven games. Annala was a nominee for Player of the Week along with teammate sophomore midfielder Lauren Gierman.

Having kicked four goals and scored nine points in the last four games, Gierman attributes her success on the field to “off season work, game day focus, and more importantly, sleep.”

The Huskies have a chance to improve to 4-9-0 with wins starting at 7 p.m. Friday at the NIU Soccer and Track & Field Complex and ending against Buffalo at 11 a.m. on Sunday in Buffalo, N.Y.