Top 5 newcomers | No. 2: Amy Annala shines on big stage for NIU women’s soccer

By Steve Shonder

Amy Annala, women’s soccer’s freshman goalkeeper, comes in at No. 2 in Sports’ top five newcomers after helping the Huskies make their first semi-finals appearance since 2007.

The MAC All-Freshman Team and MAC All-Tournament Team honoree helped to lock down a strong defense for women’s soccer, and she had a tendency for coming through in big moments. Annala made six saves in regulation before making another two in the shootout, which ended up sending the Huskies to the MAC Tournament semi-finals against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks.

“I think she’s adjusted incredibly well,” said volunteer assistant coach Angela Righeimer, according to an Oct. 6 Northern Star article. “I can remember my freshman year being a goalkeeper, and it’s very hard to come in as a freshman and take on that role. And she’s taken it on so well. It is a physical game and … she doesn’t play like a freshman. She plays like a Div. I college goalkeeper. She’s good.”

Ananala finished the season tied for second in the MAC with 115 saves and was third in saves per game with 5.48.