Soccer teams readying for weekend play

By Christopher Loggins

Men’s soccer (1-0-0) will travel to Greenville, S.C. this weekend to play at the Furman Diadora/Spinx Tournament against Furman and College of Charleston.

The first game will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday and the second will take place at 11:00 a.m. Sunday.

The Huskies won their first game last weekend in a 1-0 bout against Green Bay and have had all week to prepare for both teams they are going up against.

Still early in the year, NIU has yet to break into fatigue-ridden parts of the season as it works into finding a groove on the field.

Junior defender Richard Hall was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week this week after scoring the game-winning goal in the game against Green Bay on Friday.

Hall became the first Huskie to be named to the National Team of the Week since 2011, when Francis Otira and Pat Sloan pulled off the feat in the same season.

Furman finished its 2014 season with a record of 12-5-5 and were Southern Conference champions.

The team heads into Friday’s game 0-1-1 and is still searching for its first win on the year.

Junior forward Bobby Edet could be a key player for the Paladins. In 2014, Edet netted five goals and kicked three game-winning shots as a sophomore.

He currently has an assist and a point through two games this season, and has a chance to improve on those numbers this weekend.

College of Charleston is coming off a season where it went 2-11-3 and won no conference games.

It also went scoreless in eight games. The team currently sits at 1-1 on the year, earning a win against Seton Hall and falling to NC State.

Senior goalkeeper Alex Young will be a player to watch for the Cougars. Young held a 1.26 goals-against average last year and made 38 saves with a .776 save percentage.

NIU has a chance to improve to 3-0 on the year with a sweep of this week’s games in Greenville.

Women’s soccer

Women’s soccer (1-3-0) will play Milwaukee (1-2) at 2:00 p.m. Sunday in DeKalb.

The Huskies are on a three-game losing streak heading into Sunday, having lost games to Nebraska-Omaha, Creighton and North Dakota in the last two weeks.

Milwaukee has lost two consecutive games coming into the weekend, losing to Butler and Illinois State last week.

The Panthers went 6-10-2 in 2014, struggling to find a groove all year after posting winning records in three out of five years. Both teams are looking to work their way back to .500 and turn things around before their seasons go south.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Paige Lincicum has been a standout player for the Panthers. She recorded 73 saves and a single shutout as a sophomore in 2014.

Both teams will be in search of their second win of the season, and Sunday’s game will be the only one the Huskies play this week.